Dominican Republic minimum wage hike still leaves workers in poverty
Santo Domingo.- The 20% increase on the minimum salary approved Monday by the National Wage Committee (CNS) benefits nearly 51.4% of the employees registered in the Social Security Treasury.
The percentage is that of the workers earning RD$15,000 or less, and fall into the category of three minimum wages, which were RD$12,800, RD$8,800, and RD$7,800 before the increase, depending on the business’ size.
Private workers registered in the TSS with less than RD$10,000 are 613,812 and those who earn from RD$10,001 to 15,000 are 357,874. For that reason around 971,000 people, out of a total of 1.3 million private employees could start making 20 percent more when the CNS confirms the agreed increment.
Salary covers staples
The approved increase stems from the work by the labor unions grouped in the CNUS, which hadn’t managed to secure a significant rise in the last revisions. It also covers for the first time the basic household budget of the workers of large companies.
The highest minimum monthly wage for employees of companies whose registered capital ranges from RD$4.0 million, will climb from RD$12,800 to RD$15,400.
That figure at least covers the household budget of the group in the lowest-income population, which the Central Bank estimates at RD$13,260 in February.
Nonetheless, the other workers -who are the majority-, won’t reach that figure, since their wages are so low that even with the increase will not form part of the category that can cover basic needs.
Those who earn RD$8,800 will earn RD$10,500, and those who earn RD$7,800 will go to RD$9,000. Those salaries don’t even match the minimum individual poverty line, calculated at RD$10,956 by the National Statistics Office.
And despite that the business sector ha already challenged b the increase, the CNS is expected to ratify the increase resolution.