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New wages for private-sector workers take effect this month

January 1, 2015

The 2.01 percent salary increase approved in October by the National Wages Council went into effect on Thursday and will remain in place for the first six months of this year.

The wage increase, which applies to all job categories except domestic workers, was lower than the rate requested by union leaders, who had asked for hikes ranging from 2.91-4.58 percent. For domestic workers the Council approved a 2.5 percent increase.

The approved rate corresponded to the original proposal presented by government officials during a hearing at the Labor Ministry.

Union leaders, however, said at the time that they were “outraged by the approved percentage.”

“Representatives of all three workers’ unions voted against it,” said Édgar Morales, leader of the National Union of Workers. “This does nothing to improve the situation for workers or to boost the country’s economy, since higher salaries would have translated into more purchasing power.”

The approved hike is significantly lower than that authorized for the first semester of last year, when private-sector workers received a 3.78 percent increase.

See the full list of minimum wages as of Jan. 1 here (Spanish only).

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