They’ve been in office for less than a month but the new governors of Oaxaca and Veracruz are facing severe financial problems. The latest is having to come up with money to pay staff.
Alejandro Murat of Oaxaca has negotiated short-term credit of 700 million pesos (close to US $34 million) in order to pay salaries and end-of-year bonuses. By law the latter were to be paid by Tuesday.
“I took over the government of a state in disaster and they left us no money, only debts,” said the governor after the opening of a special office intended to assist suppliers, to which the administration of former governor Gabino Cué left owing a debt of 2.2 billion pesos.
Employees at offices in the health and education secretariats protested this week, demanding they be paid.
Murat said the Cué administration is being investigated and any illegal activities will be prosecuted.
A similar situation exists in Veracruz after months of fiscal mayhem.
Governor Miguel Ángel Yunes has yet to pay over 10,000 employees several of the year-end bonuses to which they are entitled.
A union leader stated that so far this month state employees received their first quincena, the salary payment for the first two weeks of the month, but not their aguinaldo, or year-end bonus.
“There’s concern and uncertainty among the workers . . . .” said Margarita Carmona.
She said that in a meeting yesterday Finance Secretariat staff had made a commitment to pay today what was owed.
If it did not happen they were ready to take other measures, such as occupying government offices. “Few people left for vacation, what with the change of administration,” she said.
Along with mobilizations and protests, the governors could face legal action if the bonuses are not paid soon. Federal Labor law states that employers can face fines of up to 400,000 pesos per employee for failing to pay them on time.
Source: El Universal (sp)