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There are no formalised trade unions in Tonga, although the 1964 Act of Parliament provides the legislation needed for unions to be formed (2009). Employers and employees in the private sector negotiate directly in order to establish working conditions and discuss salaries.

Manual labour is employed predominately in the agricultural and fishing industries.

In times of need (as a result of natural disasters), the military provides the bulk of manual labour. This is readily supplemented by volunteer labour from the villages.

Historically, humanitarian agencies have not experienced any problems with securing adequate manual labour and do not anticipate it being an issue in future.

Labour Rate(s) Overview


(Local Currency & USD - $)

Rate as of Nov 2016

Daily General Worker (Unskilled casual labour)

T$ 3.00 = US$ 1.40

Daily General Worker (Semi-skilled labour)

T$5 = US$ 2.30

Skilled Worker

        T$5 -T$10 = US$ 2.30 - US$ 4.60