In view of the accelerated process of price increases, trade unionists and businessmen, with the mediation of the Ministry of Labor, agreed on a new increase in the minimum vital and mobile wage: from 57,900 pesos it will go to 69,500 in March. The 20 percent increase will be applied in four installments. There will be a rise of 7 percent in December, 6 percent in January, 4 in February and 3 in March. The trade unionists and businessmen, after the virtual meeting, went to Casa Rosada where signed the agreement in the presence of the president Alberto Fernandezthe Minister of Economy, Sergio Massaand of job, Kelly Olmosas well as the Chief of Staff, Juan Manzur.
At the meeting, which was held in the Salón de las Mujeres Argentinas, the President said that “what we are seeing today is precisely the result of a consensus between those who work and employers, and that is something very important and very necessary in these times that we live in.” Lastly, he added that “There is no other way of doing politics other than through dialogue. And the strongest policies are those that are achieved with consensus.”
The increase will also apply to unemployment benefits and social programs such as Potenciar Trabajo, which are tied to the amount of the minimum wage. As detailed by the Government, for the parity year –March 2022/March 2023–, there will be an increase of 110.5 percent. The minimum wage, however, will be just above the Basic Food Basket (CBA) measured by INDEC for last October –62,106 pesos– and very far from the Total Basic Basket (CBT), which already climbed to 139,783 pesos. .
The plenary meeting approved the proposal with 31 votes in favor and one against, of the Autonomous CTA. After the virtual meeting, businessmen such as Daniel Funes de Rioja from the UIA, Minister Olmos, and trade unionists such as Hugo Yasky, from the CTA de los Trabajadores, and Héctor Daer, from the CGT, went to Casa Rosada where they signed the agreement. There, Olmos gave a press conference where she clarified: “We recognize that high inflation goes against wages. That is why it is so important that organized workers and employers have been able to agree. From the Government we bet and we commit ourselves to the success of the Government’s policy, and the proposal that is in force that inflation be reduced and in this way purchasing power can be recovered”.
In the event that this anti-inflationary plan does not work, the door remains open from the Government for possible revisions. Olmos stressed that “if all that were to fail, undoubtedly the national government will do the same as it did this year, which was to advance percentages and meet less frequently than expected.” Before the inquiry about the end of year bonus for registered workers, Olmos evaded the answer, saying that he did not have details on the subject, but expressed that “the national State signed a joint agreement with ATE and UPCN for the recovery of purchasing power plus a bonus for the end of the year of 30,000 pesos for recomposition” .
The general secretary of the CGT, Hector Daerstressed that “the majority voted in favor” and explained that with the signing of the new increase they seek “to lower inflation and preserve purchasing power.”
In addition, he valued that “in the year of validity of this agreement we ended with an increase of 110.7 percent.” He said that this value “will go above inflation”, and explained that “the agreement is in December, January, February, March and a new annual discussion process opens in April.”
The Autonomous CTA, which did not sign the agreement, had claimed a 47 percent increase for this new update. in dialogue with Page 12its general secretary, Hugo Godoypointed out that “we voted against it because this does not allow us to recover what was lost. In March the minimum wage was 33 thousand gross, but that already was below the level of indigence and it will continue like this next year.” The leader proposed reviewing that the increases are in installments and announced that if the Government does not announce an emergency bonus for December they will a measure of strength for the first days of the month. “The argument that they give from the Government for not giving a greater increase to the Minimum Wage – he complained – is that they cannot give a greater increase to the Complementary Social Wage”.
From Casa Rosada, they responded that “this increase must be contextualized in joint discussions. The increase in the minimum wage has a fundamental impact on some very vulnerable sectors, but we are also accompanying those sectors with other decisions such as the increase in the Food Card and the Universal Child Allowance”. “We are always negotiating and finding balances”they concluded.
In addition to Héctor Daer, the CGT was attended by Andrés Rodríguez, Sergio Romero, José Luis Lingeri, Noemí Geminiani, Noemí Ruiz, Rodolfo Daer, Vanesa Núñez and Romina Santana. Yasky was accompanied by Daniel Catalano. And for the companies, Pablo Devoto (CAC), Jorge Hulton (Camarco), Verónica Sánchez (Fehgra) and Ricardo Diab (CAME) attended, among other representatives of business and industrial chambers and the union sector.
The last meeting of the Minimum Wage Council had been on August 22 when the parties agreed -also with the CTA-A voting against– a salary increase of 21 percent in three sections of 7 percent between September and november. As of that agreement, the minimum income became 51,200 pesos in September, 54,550 in October and 57,900 this month, while in August the income was 47,850 pesos for full-time monthly workers.