The usage of manual labor is prevalent in the country, particularly in the agricultural and fishing sectors. Most of the population relies on subsistence farming and fishing for their livelihoods, and many of these activities require manual labor.
Key National Legislation: Workers Compensation Act of 2016 governs the employment of workers in the RMI. The Act provides for the rights of workers and sets out provisions for minimum wages, working hours, and conditions of employment. The Act also establishes the Labor Advisory Board, which serves as a forum for resolving labor disputes and making recommendations on labor policy.
Role of Unions: The RMI has several labor unions, including the Marshall Islands Teachers Association, the Marshall Islands Nurses Association, and the Marshall Islands Public Employees Association. These unions represent workers in their respective fields and advocate for better wages and working conditions.
Cost Incentives: The cost of manual labor in the RMI is relatively low, with the minimum wage set at USD 3.00 per hour. Additionally, organizations that provide housing or other benefits to their workers may receive tax incentives from the government.
Common Areas of Work: As mentioned earlier, the agricultural and fishing sectors are the primary areas of work in the RMI that require manual labor. Other areas of work that require manual labor include construction, maintenance, and tourism. The number of local civil/building engineers is small compared to those of foreign engineers such as Australians and Filipinos at large scale construction projects in Majuro Atoll.
Availability of Manual Labor: The RMI has a relatively small population, and the availability of manual labor can be limited. Organizations that require large numbers of workers may struggle to find enough workers locally and may need to recruit workers from other countries.
Common Issues: The availably of labor, particularly skilled and semi-skilled labor, can be a challenge for organizations operating in the RMI. Additionally, organizations that employ foreign workers may face bureaucratic challenges in obtaining work permits and complying with immigration regulations.
Minimum Wage - Amendment Act 2017: MHL109285.pdf (ilo.org)
Marshall Islands: Doing Business 2020. World Bank, 2020, https://www.doingbusiness.org/content/dam/doingBusiness/country/m/marshall-islands/MHL.pdf