Barely a few hours after the announcements by the new Economy Minister Sergio Massa, the The government called a meeting of the Salary Council to discuss a new increase in the Minimum Vital and Mobile Salary (SMVM). It will be on August 18, a week after the Indec publishes the inflation number for July, which is expected to break a new record as a result of the resignation effect of Martín Guzmán, exchange rate run and price re-marking just in case.
Minimum salary valid since August is 47,850 pesos. It is the value that had been originally set during the first meeting of the Salary Council and that was to take effect as of December, with an accumulated increase of 45 percent since March 2022. However, the inflationary escalation that projects an annual inflation of around 76 percent in the year, forced first to advance the increases and then to request a review, which will take place on August 18.
Although no official statement has yet been made, it is this annual percentage that number that the unions have in mind to request the increases. From the Ministry of Labor, which is in permanent conversation with the actors that end up negotiating the percentage increase, they assure that the inflation data for July that the Indec will publish on Thursday, August 11, will be decisive to put a final number.
consulted by PageI12, some of the participating business centers such as the Argentine Chamber of Construction (Camarco), the Argentine Chamber of Commerce and Services (CAC) or the Agrarian Federation did not want to advance a number. “It would be logical, in this context, that the minimum wage be increased,” is what they limit themselves to answering from Camarco. “We are aware that the high inflation registered in our country erodes the purchasing power of wages. And as representatives of a sector whose fate is closely linked to consumption, it is in our direct interest that wage earners recompose their income,” added the CAC , although he added that “the ability to grant salary increases is limited.”
According to its formal definition, the minimum wage is the starting point of the amount that any worker over 18 years of age should receive for their work and must ensure “adequate food, decent housing, education, clothing, health care, transportation, recreation and vacations.
During the 90s, the minimum wage did not serve as a reference to negotiate. Starting in 2004, the government of Néstor Kirchner broke with this logic and appropriated it as a tool to drive wage bargaining upwards. Indeed, in 2004, the minimum wage went from representing 25 to 45 percent of the average wages received in the economy. As of June of this year, that percentage decreased to 32 percent taking into account the RIPTE.
Today, the direct impact of that salary on the joint negotiation of registered workers is almost nilsince the initial basic salaries of each agreement are above this amount, except for some sectors such as workers in private homes who, in any case, have a statute different from the Labor Contract Law, so the SMVM does not serve as collateral when trading.
The scenario is different for workers informal, a group in which the minimum wage has an indirect impactsince it establishes a salary floor as a reference for that sector of the labor market.
But the real impact of the figure directly affects some Social Programs. The most important is promote work, of the Ministry of Social Development: 870,000 people earn 50 percent of the minimum wage. Likewise, the Accompanying program of the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity, aimed at women and LGBTI+ in situations of gender violence consists of economic support equivalent to the minimum, vital and mobile salary for six consecutive months, At the same time, comprehensive support is provided to the people included in the program.
The minimum wage also serves as a reference for some clauses to enter programs such as progress scholarships, in which the beneficiary collects it if his family earns less than three minimum wages.
The call, which was formalized with a resolution signed by the Minister of Labor Claudio Moroni in the Official Gazette, had already been publicly advanced by Moroni to define what the values will be from now to the end of the year. The appointment is at 10 in the morning for the 32 members, 16 for the working part and 16 for the employer, of the National Council for Employment, Productivity and the Minimum, Vital and Mobile Salary with the aim of dealing virtually with the determination of the Minimum Salary and the minimum and maximum amounts of the unemployment benefit. At 1:30 p.m. that same day, a second session was called in order to sign the order of the day.
Participating in the March meeting for the business sector were: Daniel Funes de Rioja, Juan José Etala, Julio Cordero, Guillermo Moretti and Horacio Martínez (UIA), Carlos Francisco Etchezarreta (CAC), Jorge Hulton (CAMARCO), Ricardo Diab (CAME) , Carlos Achetoni (FAA), Abel Guerrieri (SRA), Paulo Ares (CONINAGRO), Alberto Frola (CRA), Verónica Sánchez (FEHGRA), Javier Bolzico (ADEBA), Juan José Gabbi (BCBA), and Jaime Campos (AEA) . For the working sector: Carlos Acuña (Service Stations), Héctor Daer (Health), Pablo Moyano, Antonio Caló, Ricardo Peidró (CTA A), Andrés Rodríguez, Gerardo Martínez, Sergio Romero, José Luis Lingieri, Roberto Fernández, Noemi Geminiani , Gabriela Pérez, Mario Manrique, Noemí Ruiz, Romina Santana and Hugo Yasky.