minimum wage


minimum wage
the lowest wage payable to employees in general or to designated employees as fixed by law or by union agreement.
[1855-60]

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Wage rate established by collective bargaining or by government regulation, specifying the lowest rate at which workers may be employed.

A legal minimum wage is one mandated by government for all workers in an economy, with few exceptions. Privately negotiated minimum wages determined by collective bargaining apply to a specific group of workers in the economy, usually in specific trades or industries. The modern minimum wage, combined with compulsory arbitration of labour disputes, first appeared in Australia and New Zealand in the 1890s. In 1909 Britain established trade boards to set minimum wage rates in certain trades and industries. The first minimum wage in the U.S. (which applied only to women) was enacted by Massachusetts in 1912. Minimum wage laws or agreements now exist in most nations.

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      wage rate established by collective bargaining or by government regulation that specifies the lowest rate at which labour may be employed. The modern minimum wage, combined with compulsory arbitration of labour disputes, first appeared in Australia and New Zealand in the 1890s. In 1909 Great Britain established trade boards to set minimum wage rates in certain trades and industries. The first minimum wage in the United States (covering only women) was enacted by the state of Massachusetts in 1912. The intent of these laws was to shorten hours and raise pay in the covered industries.

      Minimum-wage legislation or machinery for fixing minimum rates now exists in most of the nations of Latin America, Africa, and Asia, as well as in more industrialized countries.

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Universalium. 2010.

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