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Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 10:05 PM UTC

Cortes Asks Business and Labor Leaders To Come To Terms

Employment & JobsAppealing for an understanding between employers and workers, the Ministry of Labor will seek to serve only as a mediator in the talks about an increase to the minimum wage for the 2014 - 2015 time period.

"We are waiting for social interlocutors, workers and employers, to communicate between themselves, and to come to terms to achieve a consensus so the National Government will not be the one in charge of establishing the minimum wage this time”, said Labor Minister Alma Cortes.

During the last two wage revisions, the Government made an adjustment of 32%, stating these were “the most important adjustments in minimum wage in the last 40 years”, while the previous reviews did not exceed 17%, stated Cortes.


Editor's Comment: Every two years there are a series of set piece discussions in a standing committee installed to conduct regular reviews of the minimum wage. The last two times the representatives of labor and business failed to reach an agreement. Business owners wanted to make either a tiny increase to the minimum wage (to keep pace with inflation) or no increase at all. And of course the employees wanted a very large (unrealistic) increase. Both times the Labor Ministry was forced to step in, make the decision, and apply a minimum wage increase somewhere in the middle - more than what the business owners wanted to pay but less than what the workers were demanding. This call for the two sides to reach an agreement by Cortes is the definition of "wishful thinking." By holding fast to their positions both sides can claim they held fast but were forced by the government to accept a final number that they didn't want. More fun and games and how they are played...

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