The minimum wage for 2022 increases by 4.75%, a decision that not all received well

The decision was announced on Thursday, December 16 by the president, Alejandro Giammattei, and the Minister of Labor, Rafael Rodríguez, who signed the government agreement 278-2021 that day, which will take effect on January 1 of next year.

To make the decision, the reports of the Minimum Wage Joint Commissions, the National Salary Commission (CNS), the Bank of Guatemala (Banguat) and the Guatemalan Social Security Institute (IGSS) and other entities were considered, they indicated.

The new wages

For non-agricultural activities, the daily minimum wage remains at Q97.29; the agricultural in Q94.44 and for the export and maquila activities, in Q88.91, indicated the president. He added that the proportional part that corresponds to each day would be paid per hour, but did not give details about it.

The increases are equivalent to Q4.41, Q4.28 and Q4.03 per day, which represents a monthly increase of Q134.14, Q130.18 and Q122.58, respectively.

According to the Ministry of Labor (Mintrab) the monthly salary for an 8-hour day shift would be as follows for each activity:

  • Agricultural, Q2 thousand 872.55 monthly (Q11.81 per hour), plus the bonus of Q250, to reach Q3 thousand 122.55.
  • For non-agricultural companies, the base remuneration will be Q2 thousand 959.24 (Q12.16 per hour), plus a bonus, for Q3 thousand 209.24.
  • And in the case of exporting and maquila companies, the amount will be Q2 thousand 704.35 (Q11.11 per hour) plus the bonus of Q250, to reach Q2 thousand 954.35

Giammattei mentioned that the effects derived from covid-19 are still latent, but the joint work has allowed the economy to recover and cited the forecast of Banguat regarding a growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 7.5% during this year and the economic prospects of the main trading partners.

Also read: 45% of Guatemalans surveyed have not recovered the level of income they had before the pandemic

He also indicated that the minimum wage has stagnated since 2018 and that, according to projections from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), it will close in 2021 with around 3.25% inflation, which exceeds the current minimum wage. “That means that people can buy fewer things with the same amount of money,” said the president. In addition, he mentioned that according to the IGSS, the limitation in the increase of the minimum wage hinders improvements in social security services, despite the recovery of affiliations.

The sectors say

Alejandro Ceballos, president of the Garment and Textile Commission (Vestex) that groups export maquilas, described the increase as adequate and correct, for which he said he agreed, as he had previously stated, when asked if as representative of the exporters and entrepreneurs of the maquila, would be satisfied with an increase close to 5%.

Franky Pozuelos, representative of the labor sector in the CNS, commented that the president’s decision is within the ranges that were discussed and analyzed in the previous meetings, when applying the formula with country indicators.

“The president will have his reasons why he favored a lower-range increase, since it had been calculated between a minimum of 4.7% and a maximum of 7%,” he stated, referring to the fact that last November the CNS requested support to Banguat to estimate, with data from 2022, the results of applying a formula that the commission established since 2012 to calculate the minimum wage. As a result, the possibility of an increase that would oscillate between 4.26% and 7.26% was reflected, according to what the Banguat informed you last month.

The representative analyzed that it is necessary to take into account that not all economic activities have had growth and there are some still affected by the pandemic, so the handling of the minimum wage must be prudent. “In addition, it is important to protect employment and what can be done in the future to generate job opportunities for Guatemalans,” he said.

This is how the minimum wages remain for 2022. (Photo, Prensa Libre: Mintrab).

The labor sector had requested an increase in the commissions, so that the daily minimum wage would reach Q150 per day, to reach Q4 thousand 562.5 plus the bonus of Q250.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Union Federation of Bank Employees and State Services (Fesebs) sent a letter to the president in which they proposed to adjust the minimum wages to Q100 per day for the three economic activities by 2022. With this proposal, the hourly wage would be Q12.50 and the monthly salary would reach Q3,041.77 plus a bonus of Q250 per month, which would represent increases from 8% to 17.8% depending on the activity in question, an aspect that was not specified either.

It may interest you: The six factors that influence the unusual consumption of Guatemalans during December

The president of the Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations (Cacif), Hermann Girón expressed that it is necessary to implement methodologies that allow the differentiation of minimum wages by geographic district, productive sector and that maintain a relationship with productivity , since only then will it be possible to generate more formal jobs.

For his part, Guido Ricci, from the labor commission of that organization, affirmed that the starting point has always been to improve the income and purchasing power of the workers and that the impression is that by doing what has now been done, it does not contribute to For this purpose, in addition, the average salary is very far from the minimum salary, which is higher, which generates a certain distortion.

According to the manager, it is expected that in reality there is a general employment policy and a salary policy, so that what is done in the commissions is tied with that policy “and that the annual salary setting is in line with the general regulations” .

Now it is necessary to “continue with these new wages, waiting for the compliance of all the obligated parties and for the workers’ situation to improve, but always concerned that it will not generate distortion and that the number of jobs in the formal sector will not diminish, either. which has always been our concern, ”said Ricci.

The employer sector, both in the joint commissions and in the CNS, requested that there be no increase and that the current salary remain in force.

The Mintrab maintains the intention of creating economic districts to set the minimum wage for 2023. According to the proposal of that portfolio made official last November, it was delimited into two zones, the Central Zone constituted by the department of Guatemala, and the Regional Zone would be made up of the urban and rural area of ​​the rest of the country’s departments. The idea of ​​this entity is that the next year joint commissions are installed to define it.

On the other hand, at the beginning of this week the possibility of an increase of 5.7% for agricultural and non-agricultural activities and of 5.6% for maquilas and exports, in addition to creating a new activity for accommodation, without increase, due to the impact of the pandemic in tourism. Supposedly it was the proposal of the Minister of Labor to the president, but he no longer specified either of the two. The portfolio indicated that on Friday it would answer various doubts raised in this regard.

Verifications will be carried out

The president expressed his support for the General Labor Inspectorate (IGT) to make effective the mechanisms for verifying compliance with the payment of the minimum wage, particularly in those sectors in which a tendency to non-compliance has been identified, since “it is useless set a minimum wage, if it is not paid ”and in no case may workers have a lower wage than that set. On Thursday several vehicles were handed over for use at the IGT.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *