Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced an increase to the minimum wage Sunday, which he said would help to shield workers’ from the worst effects of the three year long economic crisis in the country.
In a televised address to the nation, Maduro revealed that the cash value of Venezuela’s national wage would be increased by 60 percent, while the value of food coupons would rise by 15 percent.
“May Day is not a day of capitalism or the right-wing… May 1 belongs to the working class,” said the president.
The increase brings Venezuela’s integrated national minimum wage to a total of 200,000 bolivars (USD $47 at the black market rate), including 65,000 bolivars in cash and 135,000 in food credits. The value of the food coupons may also be paid in cash at the request of the worker, added Maduro.
In another announcement to mark the historic date, the president also announced that an additional “special economic war bonus” would be paid to the more than 3 million pensioners living in Venezuela from May 1 onwards. The bonus brings national pensions in Venezuela to almost 85,000 bolivars.
According to the president, the increase marks the 37th rise in the national minimum wage since the Bolivarian government came to power in 1999. Nonetheless, increases over the past three years have failed to keep up with the country’s triple digit inflation.