Construction: Activity Falls, But Wages Rise

From July 1, the second increase in the minimum hourly wage for construction workers in Panama comes into effect, which occurs in a context of considerable decline in the sector's activity.

Friday, June 28, 2019

The increase is part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement CAPAC-Suntracs, whose negotiation ended a strike that in 2018 lasted more than 30 days. According to official figures at the end of the first four months of 2019, the cost of new construction, additions and repairs fell 28% compared to the same period in 2018.

You may be interested in “Construction Rebound: A Challenge for the New Government" and "Panama: Construction Falls by 28%"

From the Capac statement:

On July 1, the second minimum wage increase enters into force in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement CAPAC-Suntracs, which regulates labor relations between 2018 and 2021.

"It is a gradual adjustment of the agreed salary increases and as practice has been, the CAPAC fully complies with the terms agreed with the workers' representatives," said Hector Ortega, president of the construction guild.

The new adjustment will apply to CAPAC members in the category of general and specialized contractor and to companies that, regardless of their classification, execute construction works as subcontractors of the guild members, according to Clause 3 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Read full statement (In Spanish).

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More on this topic

Panama: Construction Strike Ends

May 2018

30 days after the strike began, employers and workers have finally reached an agreement on the scale of salary adjustments for the period 2018-2021.

From a statement issued by the Panamanian Chamber of Construction (CAPAC):

May 18, 2018. The Panamanian Chamber of Construction (CAPAC) informs its members and the general public that today, May 18, a salary agreement was reached with the National Union of Construction Workers and Similar (Suntracs). 

Panama and Rising Construction Costs

August 2017

An increase in the cost of construction permits, new rates for services from public entities and a more expensive labor force explain a large part of the increase in real estate sales prices.

The guild of construction companies in Panama states that prices for homes, shops and apartments are so high that in many cases buyers can not afford them. The increase, they say, is not due to increases in the cost of construction materials, but to an increase in the cost of paperwork, such as building permits, higher interest rates for loans and the elimination of some subsidies.

Nicaragua: Construction Salaries Increase by 6.11%

September 2014

The increase approved by the guild of construction companies will apply retroactively from September 8, 2014.

Besides the adjusted upward, the Nicaraguan Chamber of Construction has agreed with unions "... a 4% increase in the prices listed in the table of labor performed piecemeal in the case of steel which is less than or equal to number 4 (1/4, 3/8 and ½ inches), and 3% higher than in steel No. 4 (8.5 inches). "

Panama: New Construction Strike Threat

April 2014

Although companies are willing to make adjustments from 2% to 4% in the three years that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is in effect, the union wants more.

On April 23, work in the sector could be halted if companies and the union can not reach an agreement that satisfies the workers' union.

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