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Honduras in Protests for Higher Wages

TEGUCIGALPA - Honduran Labor unions will call for demonstrations and road blockades if this week the government does not set a minimum wage in line with the high cost of living.

Secretary General of the Confederation of Workers Jose Luis Baquedano criticized the unwillingness of President Porfirio Lobo to make a decision according to law.

"We will just wait this week for him to decide once and for all, otherwise there is no other alternative but to take to the streets", declared Baquedano.

According to the legislation, it falls to the government to fix the minimum wage when negotiations on the issue fail between unions and employers.

Although the three major labor unions eased their position lowering the demand for salary increase from 30 to 15 percent, the private sector proposed only 3.7 percent.

Currently the minimum wage is 5.500 Lempiras (US$ 291) for urban workers and 4.055 ($ 214) for rural areas.

Figures are well below the indispensable to pay the basic food basket, considered the most expensive in the region, amounting to US $324, according to a study by the Consumer Network in Central America.

The trade unions plan to sue the State of Honduras to the International Labor Organization, if it does not enact the new minimum wage.
 
 
 
 
 

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