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Rising cost of living triggers small aviation company to increase minimum wage

Released: 24th of October 2022

The rising cost of expense in the cities of Papua New Guinea can no longer allow employees these days to sustain themselves, and their family members for two weeks, says the chief executive officer of a helicopter service provider.

Manolos Aviation Ltd CEO Jurgen Ruh made this statement when reviewing employee benefits, salaries and wages this month.

“When I first came to PNG 40 years ago, I was paid K5 an hour. Back then, food and other necessities costs way less than what it is now, and people can afford to buy many things,” he said.

“But today, food at shops is so expensive, and many genuine and hardworking Papua New Guineans are unable to afford much of the good food and things that can last them for two weeks.”

“With todays pay, you take a friend out for lunch and that’s it, your pay’s gone!”

Ruh made the decision to have the company minimum wage at K6 per hour, especially for new inexperienced staff, and young people, who are not qualified, but have shown keen interest to work in an aviation environment and have been taken onboard to work for the company.

“Over time as they learn and are trained, and getting a hang of things, their pay will increase with their experience and performance,” he added.

Commercial and compliance manager, Nellie Tumai, welcomed the decision, adding that this is a great example of “setting standards” in small companies, and especially aviation companies where it is very costly to run and maintain in a country like Papua New Guinea.

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