Local May 5, 2015 | 8:16 am

Wage hike standoff ‘stirs tempers,’ labor warns

Santo Domingo.- National unions council (CNUS) president Rafael-Pepe-Abreu warned Monday that employers’ stance against a salary increase “stirs tempers” and can lead to tense situation in the country, for which a peaceful solution to the standoff should be sought.

He said the unions don’t want to get into a scenario of ongoing protests, "which alters the situation in a country with problems of various kinds: political, institutional, judicial corruption, then you will also add a labor issue among employers and unions, it’s something which can lead to that very tense situation in the country."

Interviewed on Santo Domingo TV, the labor leader said the unions expect the National Wage Committee to convene with predetermined agreement with employers ready and a proposal which can be discussed. "For May 13 the unions go with the hope that at this meeting the issue of a wage increase can be resolved definitively because employers have other issues."

He said entrepreneurs are the country’s main economic factor and if they appreciate the current labor peace, must do everything possible not to alter it.

Abreu warned that the business sector has much to lose if social peace is disrupted and reiterated labor’s demand of a 30% wage hike.

Classification of companies

Abreu added that it’s not the proper time to reclassify companies, as management has proposed. "If we do what they’re proposing many companies that now pay the higher minimum wage would then fall into the minimum, which is basically what they’re looking for.”

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