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Friday, April 18 2014 @ 04:03 AM EDT

Business Leaders Propose a 7% Increase To The Minimum Wage

Employment & JobsOn Wednesday, 14 December 2011, business leaders in Panama presented their proposal for a new minimum wage, an increase of 7% over the current minimum wage, announced the group's representative Roberto Lombana. This proposal would raise the minimum wage in Panama to between $402 to $445 dollars per month. With this proposal workers who are currently receiving $376 per month (the lowest wage in the scale) would receive $402 per month, and those receiving $416 would receive $445. The representative of the business leaders on the commission said the proposal has been well studied and is consistent with the reality of the country. However, he said they are willing to continue negotiations.

REACTION - Rafael Chavarria, of the National Council of Organized Workers, said the workers reject outright the proposal presented by the business leaders. He added that the proposal put forward by the labor leaders - asking for an increase to $540 per month - is not debatable. For his part, the Deputy Minister of Labor and Workforce Development, Darius Falcon Piraquive, said both sides have until 20 December to reach an agreement. Otherwise, the Executive will set the new minimum wage salary that will go into effect in January 2012, the official said. (Prensa)

Editor's Comment: The negotiations to determine a new scheme for minimum wages in Panama continues. A 7% increase might sound like a lot, but inflation has been running at around 5% so it's really not much of a tangible increase, and rather just enough to keep pace. In these kinds of things you can just about split the difference - expect the bottom line to come in at about $460 to $480 or so, I bet. More than what the business leaders are proposing and less than what the union leaders are demanding.

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