Santo Domingo.- The presidents of the National Business Council (CONEP) and of the Dominican Republic Industries Association (AIRD) on Wednesday announced their willingness start talks with labor on a wage hike, but only for workers who earn the minimum wage.
CONEP president Manuel Diez Cabral said the industries would discuss a raise of the minimum wage based on inflation in recent years, noting that the term to revise those salaries expires midyear, which both sectors must agree on under oversight by the Labor Ministry’s Wage Committee.
"Business leaders are more than willing to sit down with workers’ representatives and discuss a possible increase in the minimum wage and reviewed every two years as the law requires. That's no problem, and we believe we can advance the talks as the union leaders requested," Diez Cabral said.
As to the amount of the increase, the Conep president said that couldn’t be established in advance, because it should be discussed at the negotiating table.
AIRD president Ligia Bonetti placed the same condition, stressing that employers are “more than willing” to discuss an increase in the minimum wage.
Labor unions however have repeatedly demanded a of 30% increase across the board, including the salaries of government workers.
Labor Union Federation coordinator Rafael (Pepe) Abreu last week reiterated labor’s demand of a wage hike regardless of amount of the salary, noting that higher food prices and in most services affect everyone.