Colombia’s minimum wage will be increased by 4.6%, or $12, to $265 a month in 2015, the government announced to the disappointment of labor unions who claim the hike is a mere “tip.”
The minimum wage hike will affect the 1.2 to 1.3 million Colombian workers who currently receive the minimum wage. The minimum base wage in Colombia will now be 644,350 pesos per month. This value will total 718,300 once the minimum transport subsidiaries of $30 are added.
A rise in minimum wage is often compared to inflation; the amount that the price of goods and services increase in an economy. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast predict the inflation rate in 2015 to be 3.1%, giving an estimated 1.5% gap between the rise in the minimum wage and the rise of the price level.
The president of the labor union CUT acknowledged the rise with disappointment and stated that it represented a mere “tip” to workers. He said that while the government intends to overcome social inequality, actions such as this are in fact deepening it.
Another labor leader told local press that neither the 9.5% increase they proposed nor “a 50% increase would be enough for workers to have the income required to live with dignity.”
Colombia’s labor minister was more positive regarding the outcome stating that “while we were unable to agree on the number, what is left of this tripartisan social dialogue is that there was a positive mood that doesn’t leave anyone hurt along the way.”
The minimum wage laws are annually discussed by the so-called Consultation Committee of Wage and Labor Policies every December, with the government acting as the mediator between the representatives of the workers and the employers. This year, the employers proposed a 4.2% rise and the workers 9.5%.
As the two parties couldn’t come to a compromise, the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos intervened and set the increase at 4.6%.