That every worker in Colombia, regardless of their salary, has the right to have it increased by a percentage, at least equal to the inflation caused as of December 31, as stated in the draft of the labor reform project leaked this week, would be a fatal blow for companies and an insurmountable obstacle to job creation.
(Read also: Labor reform would force even the highest salaries to rise with inflation)
This is what various production unions point out, whose spokespersons expressed their concern at the eventual approval of an initiative of this magnitude that was included in the draft of the aforementioned project that the Government of President Gustavo Petro will present on March 16 before the next Congress of the Republic.
And it is that if the reform project is approved as it is proposed today, companies will have to raise the wages of all workers every year, without exception, and this will have an effect on the costs of important payrolls.
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María Claudia Lacouture, president of the alliance of 41 unions and business associations (Aliadas)He points out that under the current situation the country is going through, what is needed is a policy that stimulates the generation of employment and does not make it more expensive.
«An increase in the wages of workers linked to inflation caused goes against job creation, increases the costs of hiring workers and forces employers to be more cautious when setting salary remuneration,» precisely the union spokesperson, who warns that «the labor reform, the final text of which is not yet known, cannot put business activity and the jobs it generates at risk because when high inflation is recorded it is very difficult to transfer this higher cost directly to the products».
In the same sense it was pronounced Jaime Alberto Cabal, president of the National Federation of Merchants (Fenalco)who said that respect for the minimum wage is essential, especially for those who earn less, two or three salaries, but from then on, make a mandatory wage adjustment without leaving companies free to undermine the affectation of its costs, its productivity and competitiveness, I believe that it is a necessary interference by part of a law issued by the Government or the Congress of the Republic.
It is estimated that in Colombia only about 3.5 million formal workers currently earn a minimum wage in Colombia, which for 2023 was set at 1,160,000 pesos. For the rest of the workers there is no legal provision as such that orders an increase; although many companies do.
For the president of Aliadas, the salary increases, except those of the minimum wage that rise as determined by the regulations, depend on the contracting conditions of the companies with each of their employees. Consequently, she says: «This is a discussion that requires the participation of all actors to build consensus that benefit workers, companies and the economy».