Saturday 28 January 2023

Not A Good Time to Standardize Salaries

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28 January 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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Costa Rica’s private sector warns of more unemployment and reduces competitiveness even further, if the government moves forward with its plan to standardize wages in 2020, affect workers with less education

Wage standardization in 2020, will have a strong impact on productive sectors such as agriculture, trade, transport, tourism and construction, explains a statement from the UCCAEP.

From the UCCAEP statement on November 17, 2019: The government’s decision to standardize salaries now will lead to an increase in unemployment, hit workers with less education, generate loss of competitiveness and will be a severe blow to economic activities that are frankly slowing down, warns the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of Private Enterprise (UCCAEP). The economy will receive a strong impact this Monday at 4 pm with the firm approval of the start of this wage standardization.

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“Without business support, but with the votes of trade unions and the government in the Superior Council of Salaries, this homologation was ratified last week, whose entry into force, from July 2020, would be very serious”, warned the interim president of UCCAEP, Álvaro Saenz.

Saenz stressed that the scheme composed of the 2.54% annual increase decreed the previous month, plus the homologation, together with the next increase in the employer’s contribution to the CCSS’s I.V.M. regime, would raise minimum wages well above inflation.

The full statement in Spanish):

La decisión del Gobierno de realizar ahora una homologación de salarios provocará un incremento del desempleo, golpeará a los trabajadores con menos estudios, generará pérdida de competitividad y será un golpe severo a las actividades económicas que están en franca desaceleración, así lo advierte la Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones de la Empresa Privada (UCCAEP).  La economía recibirá un fuerte impacto este lunes a las 4 pm con la aprobación en firme del inicio de esta homologación salarial.

“Sin el apoyo empresarial, pero con los votos sindicales y del Gobierno en el Consejo Superior de Salarios fue ratificada esa homologación la semana pasada, cuya entrada en vigencia, a partir de julio del 2020, sería muy grave”, así lo advirtió el presidente interino de UCCAEP, Álvaro Sáenz.

Sáenz enfatizó en que el esquema compuesto por el aumento anual del 2,54%, decretado el mes anterior, más la homologación, junto con el próximo incremento del aporte patronal al régimen del I.V.M. de la CCSS, elevarían los salarios mínimos muy por encima de la inflación.

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Para el sector empresarial es imprudente aprobar y ejecutar la homologación salarial en el 2020, además provocará un fuerte impacto en sectores productivos tales como agricultura, comercio, transporte, turismo y construcción.

“La racionalidad y la experiencia indican que un aumento del 1% o 2% salarial no ayudará a reducir la pobreza; esta bajará solo si se genera un crecimiento económico derivado de mejorar la competitividad y por lo tanto reducir el desempleo”, concluyó Sáenz.

Para la Unión de Cámaras, la decisión que ha tomado el Gobierno junto a representantes sindicales debe revertirse, pues en administraciones pasadas existía la anuencia por parte del Poder Ejecutivo o sus representantes a llamar a los sectores afectados, situación que ahora no ocurrió.

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