If Macri is trying to reach out to the country’s workforce, he has an unorthodox way of going about it. Congress voted to reinstate the professional minimum wage in 2015 – something that was originally done away with during Rafael Videla’s dictatorship back in 1976 – Macri has decided as of Monday to render it ineffective.
Minimum wage was updated last June, guaranteeing a month salary of at least AR $ 6, 810 and is set to increase to AR $8060 in January. It should be noted that government and independent analysis has found that a family needs to earn AR $ 13,335 to remain above the poverty line in Buenos Aires.
Initially intended to be reestablished in the Labor Contract Law, the professional minimum wage ruling established ‘the collective standards of work, arbitration awards and acts dictated by competent individuals in authority as the lowest form of remuneration to be paid by the worker’ – as stated by Héctor Recalde, the president of the Front of Deputies.
The project was promoted by the former deputy and current national senator of the FPV-PJ for Chubut, Mario País, approved in 2015 by the Chamber of Deputies with the previous composition of members, and to which the Senate gave definitive sanction last November unanimously.
The defence for the veto as outlined on the decree signed by Macri and members of his cabinet such as chief of staff Marcos Peña and Labor Minister Jorge Triaca, states that due to its ‘rigidity and conceptual antiquity,’ the ruling in fact fights against the ‘rational and modern model of labor regulation that seeks to be promoted today’ and will ultimately inhibit ‘new and creative forms of work organization…’
This comes as the second instance in which the president has vetoed a law that appears to be keeping the workers’ interest in mind; the first being to prohibit arbitrary dismissals by giving rationality to labor relations.
The veto will affect the way new contracts are drafted, and is viewed to be a new “benefit” to employers who can now pay lower monthly salaries to new employees.
The veto will not affect the salaries of employees currently working under permanent contracts.