Modest increase proposed for readjusted minimum wages

An employer group is proposing a 2.63 per cent increase in the minimum salaries when the government adjusts the numbers for Jan. 1.

The group is the Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones del Sector Empresarial Privado. Labor representatives are expected to come up with a figure, too. Both sides will argue their positions before the Consejo Nacional de Salarios, which will make the final decision.

The organization said that it supported a raise despite the slowdown of the economy and the increase in joblessness.
There is no excuse to transfer the costs of the economic crisis to employees, said Manuel H. Rodríguez, organization president. He noted that in the last five months some 5,500 jobs were lost in the private sector.

He said his organization based the proposal on the inflation between July and September, which was .44 percent, less than a half percent. He said the inflation projected for the rest of the year is 2.69 percent.

The minimum salaries are adjusted every six months. Many Costa Ricans work at the minimum wage, which is different for each job title. The Ministerio de Trabajo maintains a data base with the salaries.

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