Caracas, May 4, 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a 30% minimum wage hike on Friday as part of his government’s ongoing efforts to support workers amidst economic war and spiraling inflation.
Following a 15% increase in January, the move will see the minimum wage rise by 20% as of last Friday and by a further 10% on June 1, affecting not only private sector workers, but also public employees, pensioners, and members of armed forces.
“I am obligated by the Constitution […] to defend the vital minimum wage, the just basic wage of the workers,” affirmed the socialist leader, referring to the Bolivarian Constitution’s mandatory annual adjustment to the minimum wage based on economic data.
“With oil at 40 [dollars] or with oil at zero, workers’ rights are guaranteed,” added Maduro, speaking at Venezuela’s massive May Day rally on Friday.
The measure has comes in the face of rising inflation, which surpassed 69% last year, and sliding oil prices that have seriously depleted the country’s foreign reserves.
While Venezuela’s Central Bank is yet to release new figures for inflation, many Venezuelans feel the increase falls short of soaring consumer prices. The government attributes the inflation to speculation and black market dealings by private retailers as part of an economic war aimed at promoting political destabilization.
Maduro has raised the minimum wage seven times since taking office in 2013.