Minimum Wage: Businessmen's proposal in Guatemala

The country's business sector proposes that elements such as productivity, economic growth and the level of formality be taken into account when calculating the minimum wage, instead of the decision only revolving around the basic basket variable.

Friday, September 13, 2019

The possible changes to the minimum wage in the country is an issue generating expectations among the different sectors, since in the next few days the National Salary Commission (CNS) will have to discuss the proposals to decide if it increases or decreases.

Juan Carlos Tefel, president of the Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations (Cacif), explained to Prensalibre.com that "... Our proposal is to go beyond simply a percentage decided by the Executive Branch, if not a more innovative proposal looking at the medium term to recover a real minimum wage."

You may be interested in "Guatemala and the Minimum Wage Discussion

Tefel added that "... they will propose a methodology for setting the minimum wage that takes into account the cost of the Basic Food Cane (CBA), productivity, efficiencies and formalization, considering that about 70% of the people are in the informal economy."

In a statement dated September 11, the Cacif explained that for this decision is indispensable to close the gap, which will not occur by artificially raising the minimum wage by decree, but by allowing, through productivity and efficiency, to improve the real wages of workers.

On the other hand, the workers intend to unify their petitions so that the increase is between 10% and 20%.

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After the Guatemalan Constitutional Court suspended the implementation of differentiated salaries in 2015, the Giammattei administration plans to discuss the application of regional minimum salaries during 2021 and the plan is for them to enter into force in 2022.

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In the discussion that will begin in Guatemala on the minimum wage that will govern in 2020, the workers seek to unify their demands for an increase of between 10% and 20%.

In mid-September, the National Salary Commission (CNS) should receive the proposals from the different sectors of the workers, so that they can then be considered in the final decision.

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Guatemala: Minimum Wage Increase Under Discussion

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The business sector proposes an increase of 2%, while employee representatives are asking for 47%.

The current minimum wage is Q62, 5 ($7.95) per day, for the export and maquila sectors and Q65 ($8.27) per day for agricultural and nonagricultural sectors.

The final debate is scheduled for tomorrow, December 7 and if a consensus can not reached, the President will make the final decision.

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