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

As the debate over Colombia’s minimum wage increase for 2014 continues, workers’ unions called for an 8% increase, while the business lobby called for a 3.3%  increase.

Colombia’s monthly minimum wage for 2013 was $305.47 per month, or $3,665 per year.  From 2012 to 2013, the minimum wage was increased by 4.02%, surpassing the 2013 inflation rate of 1.67% (calculated in November 2013).

Colombia’s Minister of Labor Rafael Pardo said to local media to expect a 4% increase in the minimum wage again this year.

MORE: Debate opens over Colombia’s 2014 minimum wage

Workers’ unions were disappointed by the government minimum wage raise increase in 2013.

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

MORE: Colombia’s minimum wage rises 4% despite union objections

According to government statistics, 54% of workers in Colombia earn the minimum wage or less. Furthermore, a total of 3.4 million workers do not earn even one half of the country’s minimum wage.

In Colombia, much of the country’s economic activity exists outside the government-regulated economy, allowing employers to pay workers salaries less than the legal minimum wage.

There are 900,000 Colombian workers (less than 5%) who earn over four times the monthly minimum wage. Of those who earn over four times the minimum wage, 630,000 have a university education.

Minimum wage vs. Inflation


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