Negotiating with Someone else's Money is Easy

The "negotiators" for the Government of Costa Rica have suggested "as a starting point" a proposal to increase the salaries of state workers which was met with "satisfaction" by the public employee unions.  

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Imagine you are responsible to the shareholders of a company that is in a very bad financial position, with costs consistently rising above income, meaning that the losses continually mount up and threaten the stability of the corporation.

Imagine that the firm stands out in the labor market because it pays wages well above those paid by other companies, and on top of this it gives out extra benefits.

Imagine those shareholders learn that you, sitting next to by the labor union of the company at the negotiating table, suggest - from the outset - a wage percentage increase that was met with "general satisfaction" by the union.

What would happen next is not hard to imagine: you would be immediately dismissed by the Shareholders, for not defending the interests of the company.

More on this topic

Privileges increase prices of gasoline

October 2017

A savings fund, housing loans, expenses for recreation and bonuses, scholarships for children, and restaurant services for employees of the state and the monopolist hydrocarbons distributor of Costa Rica, are financed through the prices paid by consumers, even by the poorest.


State Virus Spreads Through Central America

October 2015

In Guatemala people are now suffering from the "labor agreements", which come from the same strain of virus as the "Collective agreements" which have made the State Costa Rica sick, distorting the labor market and generating inequality.


The editorial "Harmfulness of labor agreements in the public sector", published today on, might have been written some years ago to describe Costa Rica. Guatemala still appears to have a chance to react to the disease, with proper medication. In Costa Rica, however, the disease is so widespread that major surgery is needed which today does not seem feasible, and the only thing left is to wait for the inevitable final crisis.

Unacceptable Threat by a Trade Union Leader

September 2015

The private companies should have to consider the risk posed to Costa Rica's business climate by the excesses of state union leaders.


Costa Rica's democratic traditions pale before the attempt made by a trade unionist to silence the media by threatening the safety of journalists.

Nicaragua: No Deal on Minimum Wage

March 2014

The Ministry of Labor will define the wage adjustment in the absence of an agreement between the private sector and trade unions.

In the last meeting on 13 March the parties were not able to reach an agreement. The private company proposed an increase of 9%, while unions demanded an adjustment of between 10% and 14%.

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