San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Unions Urge Wage Hikes Of 12 to 16 Percent

Labor leaders this week called for 12 to 16 percent salary increases for private and public sector workers to keep pace with the fast-rising cost of living.

Union representatives made the bid Monday, in the first of three meetings of the National Salary Council to decide wage adjustment. The process takes place here every six months, in October and June.

Inflation has surged 15.77 percent during the past 12 months, the highest year-overyear increase since 1998, according to the National Statistics and Census Institute.

Carlos Monterrey of the National Association of Public and Private Employees said his union is pushing for wage hikes that vary by sector and skill level: 11.83 percent for employees with a university degree and 14 percent for field workers.

Business leaders on Oct. 20 will make a bid for what they believe the increase should be, and the government will weigh on Oct. 22, according to Labor Ministry spokesman Geovanny Díaz.

The government’s proposal could either mirror one of the other bids or choose the middle ground, and negotiations between the three parties will follow, Díaz said.

The new salaries are slated to take effect in January.


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