President López Obrador said Thursday that the government is proposing an increase of at least 15% to the minimum wage.
The daily minimum wage is currently 123.2 pesos (US $6.15) in most of the country and 185.6 pesos in the northern border region. If the government’s proposed hike is approved, the daily minimum would increase to 141.7 pesos (US $7.10) on January 1.
“A 15% increase is what we’re proposing, at least,” López Obrador said before referring to a graphic that showed that Mexico would nevertheless still have one of the lowest minimum wages in the world.
The National Minimum Wage Commission, made up of government officials, private sector representatives and union leaders, will ultimately decide the size of the increase. Mexico has traditionally kept any hikes just above the inflation rate to help keep costs down for companies that export to the United States.
The president said that it became “dogma” under past neoliberal governments that increasing the minimum wage would cause inflation and therefore they allowed it to stagnate.
However, he asserted that his administration’s hikes – 16% last year and 20% in 2020 – haven’t caused inflation.
(Indeed, inflation has decreased by more than 1% in the first two years of the government and was up just 3.33% in November compared to a year earlier.)
López Obrador added that the minimum wage has to keep increasing gradually because it is an “embarrassment” at its current level.
He said Wednesday that Mexico had the lowest minimum wage in Latin America and that it has to be increased to recover people’s purchasing power.
“It’s just and necessary that the minimum salary increase as much as possible because it deteriorated a lot in the whole neoliberal period,” López Obrador said, referring to the 36 years before he took office.
The government’s proposed 15% increase is above that suggested by Mexican Employers Federation president Gustavo de Hoyos. He said Monday that that the 2021 minimum wage should be fixed between 128.1 and 135.8 pesos per day, which would be an increase in the range of just 4% to 10%.
Source: Infobae (sp)