Colombia’s minimum wage is set to increase again this January, as negotiations continue between the country’s business sector and representatives of the working class. Griselda Restrepo, Colombia’s Work Minister (Ministerio del Trabajo), said that the government is hoping to reach an agreement between the two sides and announce the increase in early January.
“We are still hoping that there will be an agreement between business people and workers; the government will explore the figures“, Restrepo said this morning. “The workers want a 9% increase and the business sector wants 5.1%; the idea is that they’ll close the gap.”
The minimum wage in Colombia currently stands at $737,717 Colombian pesos, or about US $250 at today’s exchange rate. The wage does not include mandatory payments that employers must make to fund health care, pensions, and transportation costs for workers.
If the two sectors cannot reach an agreement by Thursday, the government will be obligated to increase the minimum wage unilaterally without the consent of either side. More than 1.4 million Colombians make the minimum wage in the Andean nation.