Minimum Wage Increase Set

Last night, the Honduran government set the salary adjustment for 2010 to a seven percent increase.

The former executive director of the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (Cohep), Benjamin Bogran, said the new minimum wage increase by the Government was the “right decision.”

According to the employer, with the new salary adjustment, the government is protecting “small and medium businesses. For large companies, the increase represents a significant cost to be undertaking, but as has been demonstrated, these companies are the ones most capable. “

“Now what both the business sector and labor force needs, is to focus on what we do for the next few years in the country,” he said.

He said that “as of December 1st, we must call for the new minimum wage negotiation, in view of 2011. The private sector’s position is that we should find ways to establish, or make more or less set, the rules, a fixed increase for the next five years.”

In that sense, Bogran said that, “the decision of the Zelaya administration contributed to the loss of more than one and half million jobs in the country, because of the failure to establish protective measures for small and medium enterprises.”

The head of the National Association of Industrialists (ANDI), Adolfo Facussé, said that the announced minimum wage increase “is quite realistic and consistent” with the current situation in the country.

He agreed that “in general, what is happening is a logical consequence of the disaster that occurred in the economy when former President Manuel Zelaya increased wages by 60 percent, while inflation was at an 8 to 10 percent increase, which caused the loss of many jobs.”

That increase, he added, has not been possible for sixty-seven percent of the companies to pay. According Facussé, in the future, Honduras will need to adopt a new law that increases salaries once a year, automatically, and based on inflation.

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