The wages of workers in the bottom tier of the economy have increased substantially over the past 20 years, an employment study by trade union Uasa has found. The minimum wages of elementary workers have risen at a much faster rate than of those in middle and some senior management positions, it says. A report on the study, released in Johannesburg on Tuesday, shows that wage agreements between employers and unions generally outpaced inflation, closing the gap between skilled, semiskilled and low-skilled workers. "The first trend is that the wage gap between the skilled and the unskilled closed in most cases. For example, the lowest-skilled grades in the motor trade went from less than a fifth of the wage of a skilled grade to over a third between 1979 and 2017," the report says. Wages of semiskilled workers improved from just below a third of the skilled grade to 44% of the skilled trade in the motor industry. Benefits In effect, this means that the unskilled person now has less of...

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