Poverty January 23, 2015 | 9:42 am

Labor warns of lost patience as wage hike talks languish

Santo Domingo.- The talks aimed at raising the minimum wages await for management to name its representatives to formalize the National Tripartite Salaries Committee (CNS), while unions warn they’re losing patience.

Labor representative Rafael Pepe-Abreu on Thursday said they’ll wait until next week and warned that if management continues to delay the process, they’ll start demonstrations to demand workers’ right to a higher income.

He said despite that the unions submitted their proposed 30% increase and the justification employers had requested, they’ve yet to designate representatives for which the talks have yet to start.

He said management seeks to delay the start of discussions to extend the salary review until July, two years after the last increase, which in some cases only reached as low as RD$4,000 per month (less than US$95).

Abreu advised businesses that workers have clear, non-negotiable rights, and warned them that their effort to weaken the unions and their leaders have failed. "If there were a union movement empowered to defend their rights the business leaders would’ve succeeded in amending the Labor Code a long time ago, eliminating the right to unemployment benefits and the rights of pregnant workers."

Peaceful protest

The country’s top labor leader warned that management will be to blame if workers decide to demand better working conditions in the streets. “The unions have been patient and expect the government and businesses to agree on the need of a air and necessary wage hike.”

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