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Entered By: Paula
Entry Date: 2009-02-10 20:06:33
Subject: Article regarding Minimum wage

This is from The Honduras Weekly During the first week of January, the Ministry of Labor saw 700 people who were given dismissal papers, due to a combination of the economic downturn but mostly due to the mandatory minimum wage increase enacted by the Zelaya administration. The majority of the dismissed employees, many frantic at the prospect of not being able to support their families, said that they were willing to renegotiate wages with their employers in order to continue feeding their families. Honduran Secretary of Labor Mayra Mejía declared that, “We stand firm on the establishment of the minimum wage that will prevail during year 2009 for Honduran workers. Those working in urban areas will receive 5,500 lempiras per month, in rural areas, 4,055 per month at the minimum. This will remain in effect, in spite of threats from businesses who intend to take their case to the Supreme Court.” “We are prepared to argue for the benefit of the worker and see through what workers and businesses could not resolve in their negotiations of wage increases. We will represent the family unit of Honduras,” Secretary Mejia continued. The government took its position to increase the minimum wage for workers in spite of the refusal by the business sector. Industrialists claim the President acted unilaterally in his decision to move forward with wage increases and therefore the increases can be contested. The Honduran Council of Private Companies (COHEP) announced on Tuesday, January 6 that they will seek a shelter from the wage increases before the Supreme Court. The government calculated the minimum wage increases based upon what it currently costs an average family to put the five basics of nutrition on their tables. Other factors such as medical care, education, transportation were not part of the equation. In related news, approximately 500 Carrión store employees will also be let go at national level due to the wage increases, announced Carrión’s Central American President Vicente Carrión. Carrión said that the company is not able to maintain that wage to the four thousand employees currently on the payroll nationally. He went on to state, “This affects our company greatly. The wage increase decision was made in haste without consensus from the business sector.” 200 businesses are reported to be ready to present their case to the Supreme Court in opposition to the new minimum wage increases. An estimated 15,000 bakery workers could lose their jobs before the end of January. Jimmy Dacareth, National Director of the Association of Bakeries, said that the work in the bakeries will somehow have to get done with 10% less employees. Dacareth himself had to let 30 of his employees go.

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