AMERICA/EL SALVADOR - New minimum wages: "people are struggling to survive" said Mgr. Escobar Alas

Monday, 6 June 2016 economy   bishops   politics   poverty  

San Salvador (Agenzia Fides) - The Archbishop of San Salvador, His Exc. Mgr. José Luis Escobar Alas, harshly criticized the agreement to raise the minimum wages of workers by 15% in three years and has asked the authorities to review the measure. In his usual Sunday press conference, His Exc. Mgr. José Luis Escobar Alas said that the National Council of minimum wage, composed of representatives of private enterprises, workers and Salvadoran government, has recently agreed a 15% increase in wages for all sectors in three years, which means that the income of workers will grow by 5% every year. Then he said: "I do not know how to define this agreement. I would say it is unfair and sinful not to pay proper wages to workers".
The increase, which should come into force on June 1, has yet to be approved by President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, who can also reject it. The decision was taken only with the votes of private enterprise representatives and workers, the government voted against it because it proposed that the minimum wage for workers in urban areas is $ 300 a month, and $ 250 for the rural area.
Mgr. Escobar Alas, who was visibly upset, stressed that in the country there are 9 types of minimum wage: "I ask you to look into the matter, sometimes unfair, it is a social commitment. The Pope said it is a serious sin to pay unjust wages". If such wages are adopted as proposed, the Archbishop continued, "we will have people struggling to survives", and concluded: "How can a parent with $ 98, make their children study, give them food and buy clothes?". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 06/06/2016)