Minimum Wage Increases in Free Trade Zones

On January 5th, 2019, an 8.25% increase in the minimum wage for workers in free trade zones came into effect in Nicaragua.

Monday, January 7, 2019

According to the Ministry of Labor, the minimum monthly wage in the free trade zones last year reached $168 during 2018, and with the increase in force since the beginning of the year, the minimum monthly payment will be $182.

The increase in salary is because employers and workers signed a multi-year agreement to increase the minimum wage annually by a percentage of 8.25% in the period 2018-2022.

See "Never-ending Struggle for Minimum Wage"

Dean Garcia, executive director of the Nicaraguan Association of the Textile and Clothing Industry (Anitec), said to that "... companies will 'honor the commitment' in this agreement made with the workers and that 'from this Saturday will be paid with the 8.25% increase.

Garcia added that "... After all, in the sector there was an impact of the crisis because we had an expectation of growing 10% in 2018, but we are going to end up growing only 4 to 5%. That's negative. But we consider that the figures are negotiable, as to allow that salary increase.

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The decline in the number of companies in Nicaragua's free trade zones partly explains the loss of nearly 1,700 jobs in the first two months of the year.

Figures from the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN) show that between December 2018 and February 2019, the number of workers decreased by 1,697, from 125,550 to 123,853.

Nicaragua: Minimum Wage in Free Zones Raised by 8%

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In January the minimum monthly wage in companies operating under the free zone regime will change from $159 to $171.

The adjustment which has been in force since January this year is the result of multi-year tripartite agreement signed in December 2012 and applied to 109,000 employees working in free zone enterprises.

Nicaragua: Streamlined Procedures in Free Zones

July 2011

The reactivation of the Comisión Aduanera de Zonas Francas (Customs Free Zone Comission) will speed up the processing of this sector's imports and exports.

The executive director of the Nicaraguan Association of Textiles, Anitec, Dean Garcia Foster, said that in addition to streamlining procedures it will also create savings in operating costs.

Free Zone Salary Agreement Struck in Nicaragua

January 2010

Salaries for workers in Nicaraguan Free Zones will increase 8% in 2011, 9% in 2012 and 10% 2013.

The agreement was negotiated between businesses, government and worker unions, and will be signed on the next Friday.

Roberto González, head of worker's union CST stated that "the agreement includes other 'social' components, to increase the real salary of workers, such as food packs sold at a lower price for workers and the construction of one thousand social housing units for them".

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