Chamber of Commerce sets its position for minimum wage
(San Juan, Puerto Rico – August 20, 2021) The Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce (PRCC) favors an increase in the minimum wage up to a maximum of $8.50 an hour to be established in a phased manner to mitigate the inflationary effect that this legislation may generate on the economy in Puerto Rico, said Luis Gierbolini, president of the Camaristas, through a press release.
Gierbolini suggested $8.05 for January 2022 and $8.50 in January 2023, to leave a space for the economy to adjust to the new minimum wage. “There is a cascading effect when adjusting the minimum wage, because although there are approximately 10,000 to 14,000 employees in the private sector at $7.25 an hour, there are others that fluctuate between $7.35 and $8.50 that also have to be increased in salary. Implementing a wage increase in such a short time could lead to a reduction in hours, layoffs and closures. At the end of the day any increase is going to end up being paid for by the consumer,” Gierbolini said.
The Camarista leader called on the government “in order to help the country’s economic growth, there must be a commitment to reduce the costs of doing business on the island, such as the energy cost, the cost of permits, and the inventory tax,” Gierbolini Rodriguez said.
“The business sector in Puerto Rico deserves to know the empirical studies that support the minimum wage proposal. We are convinced that the increase should be staggered until 2023 to reach $8.50. It is a big cost for employers in Puerto Rico, especially for small traders, it would be detrimental, “said the President of the CCPR.
“We as multisectoral representatives of companies large and small know how the business climate will be affected if this well-deserved increase is not carried out in an orderly manner. The strongest companies that have salary scales above the minimum wage suffer direct consequences in other regions such as the loss of customers and services of the shops that reduce or close their operation due to increases in the costs of doing business. An increase beyond $8.50 is out of the reality of Puerto Rico,” concluded Luis Gierbolini.
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Contact: Sandra González