There will be one minimum wage throughout Mexico effective Thursday as the Area B wage level reaches that of Area A, or 70.10 pesos per day.
Elimination of a geographical basis for the allocation of the minimum wage was announced in April, when a gradual increase of the Area B wage began from its level at that time of 66.45 pesos. By Thursday the two will be the same.
Labor Secretary Alfonso Navarrete said amalgamation of the two wage levels will benefit 751,915 workers in 2,341 municipalities who are currently within Area B.
Another change regarding the minimum wage will be its retirement as a factor in formulas used to calculate fines, fees and other payments to government. A new reference unit called the UMA, to be set by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, will be used instead.
What’s not going to change by much is the amount of the minimum wage itself, widely regarded as stingy and, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, below the poverty line. Mexico is the only country in the region to have earned that distinction.
Maintaining a low minimum wage has long been an anti-inflation measure, but one criticism of such a measure is that the poor bear the brunt of its weight.
The issue flared up a year ago when politicians and others began voicing their concerns. One of the strongest voices has been that of Mexico City Mayor Miguel Mancera, who said he would like to see the minimum at 171 pesos by 2018.
Source: Milenio (sp)