Mexico employers federation pushes for higher minimum wage
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The push to raise Mexico’s low wages has gotten some unusual champions.
The Mexican Employers’ Federation said Monday that the minimum wage should be raised 19 percent, to the equivalent of about $5 a day.
And telecom magnate Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest man, told a business conference that “what has to be done is to substantially increase people’s incomes.” He called for a larger, better-paid middle class to stimulate Mexico’s internal market.
The issue of Mexican wages has become a sticking point in talks with the United States and Canada on the North American Free Trade Agreement because of accusations that Mexico has unfairly attracted industry by keeping wages low.
The current minimum wage is $4.20 a day, or about 52 cents an hour. That is only about 7 percent of the $7.25 hourly minimum wage in the U.S.
The Mexican employers’ group said its new $5-a-day proposed wage is needed to at least meet the minimum food, transportation and housing expenditures of one person.