A pay raise on the way?

During the previous presidency, high formal employment rates were registered but it was known that around 20 million workers earned only two minimum wages, less than MXN $5,000

A pay raise on the way?
In Mexico, the minimum wage isn't enough to cover basic needs - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 17/12/2018 09:32 Mexico City Newspaper Leader Actualizada 09:34
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The Mexican working class' current situation could be summarized in three aspects: precarious employment, the loss of acquisitive power in wages, and the proliferation of informal employment. These aren't new challenges, they have been present in the last decade.

During the previous presidency, high formal employment rates were registered but at the same time, it was known, through official data, that around 20 million workers earned only two minimum wages, less than MXN $5,000.

Jobs without access to benefits or social security were common, as well as outsourcing, subcontracting personnel, has also increased in the last years, which was detrimental to employment.

The purchasing power of the wage increased at the beginning of the century but later it stagnated once again. According to the Coneval, there are millions of people whose income is not enough to acquire the basic food basket. In Mexico, the minimum wage has become a generator of poverty, which goes against the Constitution. Even during the recent renegotiation of the NAFTA, the wage issue was a demand made by the U.S. and Canada; in the end, it was agreed that the workers of the automotive sector would have to earn similar wages to what they are paid in the neighbor countries; although it won't put into effect immediately, it's a sign that the wages haven't looked to generate well-being conditions but rather promote a misunderstood competitiveness.

Young people are the ones who resort to informal employment the most. In the face of the lack of opportunities to enter the labor market, they opt for this sector. According to the Inegi, six out of 10 young people work in the informal sector and earn around 1 to 3 minimum wages.

Today, in an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, both the federal and Mexico City's Ministry of Labor acknowledged the adverse situation for a large part of workers and claim that they will apply a different labor policy in the face of the urgent need of recovery of the workers' income.

Nor in Mexico or in any other country, growth, economic stability, or competitiveness can be based on undignified wages for the workers and their families. The change of view and in promised salary increases should be only the beginning of a true transformation in the way the needs of the workers are handled.
 

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