Poverty January 2, 2017 | 10:41 am

More than 24 years of dismal, stagnant wages

Santo Domingo.- Low salaries, unemployment,wage increase, poor quality and services, poverty and a violated right tounionize are the topics which Dominican workers had to grapple with in 2016,according to labor leaders.

Union leaders Jacobo Ramos (CNTD), Gabrieldel Rio (CNUS) and Rafael Abreu, (CASC) say it’s regretful that the reform tothe Social Security Law 87-01 wont advance, calling it exclusive and favors HealthRisk (ARS) and Pension Fund (AFP) managers

In a statement, they say that although the CentralBank affirms that the economy grew 7.4% of GDP in the first half of 2016,"but that wealth was not redistributed, it did not improve the quality oflife of most workers and wages have remained stagnant for more than 24 years."

They said the cost of household staplestriples the minimum wages earned by workers in the private sector, those in thestate, pensioners and retirees receiving depressed pensions, and with low wagesof 9,000 pesos (US$195 per month) that deepen poverty, the social gap andinequality.

Despite economic growth, they say, socialspending in the country is low compared to the rest of the region, deficienciesin reliability and quality in water and electricity services, affect the maindrivers of growth such as tourism, agriculture and manufacturing.

The union leaders say that structuralunemployment is more than 14% when applied to youth, and over 30% in youngwomen. "2016 ended with 4.43 million employed persons, 2.3 million carryout their activities in the informal economy and 2.9 million of the jobs were generatedby the formal economy."

"The informal economy generateslow-paying, unstable, insecure and uninsured jobs, increases poverty, reduces workers’rights, and is not the way to reduce informality levels as the business sector proposes,"the union leaders said, quoted by elnacional.com.do.

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