UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: March 17, 301 AP.

Minister denies Utania employs "slave labour"

Arthur Reagan MP, the Utanian Minister for Trade, Business and Economic matters, has been forced to deny that Utania employs "slave labour" to keep labour costs low.

In introductory letters to certain unnamed nations around Vexillium, the Ministry of Trade and Business promoted low labour costs in Utania to entice foreign companies to invest in Utania. They provided an example of labour rates being between C10 and C30 per day (C = Christianan Crowns), prompting concerns from certain nations. These were reported yesterday by a local tabloid newspaper under the headline "Minister promotes Utanian Slave Labour", and picked up by the rest of the media this morning.

"There is no cause for concern, nor is there much in the way of concern by foreign nations to these claims", Mr Reagan said in a press conference this morning. "These apparently low wages are simply a feature of Utania's low exchange rate to the Crown." Currently the crown is worth three Utanian punds, making the Ministry's proposed daily rates between 30 and 90 per day.

The Ministry of Labour says that the average daily earnings for a manufacturing worker in Shecker was more than 90, but in Utan Savaj would be less than 40.

The Ministry was also attacked for advertising a "lack of restrictive labour laws in Utania".

"Certainly this is unsavoury at best", claims the editor of the Luka Sun tabloid that first broke the news. The Minister said that this was a reality in Utania, but promised a review of the wording of the letters to prevent "further misunderstanding".

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)