Colombia sets minimum wage increase for 2014 at 4.5%

Colombia’s minimum wage will see a 4.5% increase for 2014, announced the President’s Office Thursday.

President of  Central Union Workers, told Caracol Radio, that the increase is “inconsiderate” and will not cover the basic needs for a family.

“To the core unit you think this redesign is absolutely inconsiderate, in relation to the same ads that made the government growth of the economy and gives no option than minimum wage reach costs of basic food basket,” he told the Colombian radio.

The president of General Confederation of Labor workers, Julio Gomez, agreed and told the radio that they had demanded an adjustment of 8 to 6 or 5%, but acknowledged that the 4.5% is a middle ground.

President Juan Manuel Santos responded to the criticism by the CUT workers, “A section of the CUT that principle can not appear reaching agreements with employers or government is the only one who does not subscribe to agreement.”

MORE: Minimum wage workers call for 8%, employers 3.3% increase

The president announced the agreement through his twitter account, “The increase this year in purchasing power of the minimum wage (2.5% higher than inflation) is the highest in the last eight governments.”

In addition to the proposal for a 8% increase, the workers union also called for a 12% increase for a transportation subsidy for minimum wage workers.

The transportation subsidy will increase to 72 thousand dollars. “It is a fair, balanced and appropriate agreement,” said Santos.

Colombia’s monthly minimum wage for 2013 was set in December, 2012, at $305.47 per month, or $3,665 per year.  From 2011 to 2012, the minimum wage was increased by 4.02%.

The agreement affects 54% of Colombians who earn the minimum wage or less. However, a total of 3.4 million workers do not earn even one half of the minimum wage.

MORE: Debate opens over Colombia’s 2014 minimum wage


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