Acevedo Vilá proposes to raise wages for private sector
SAN JUAN — Former governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá sent a letter to Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on Sunday requesting a salary raise for thousands of employees in the private sector, without a negative impact on Puerto Rico’s economy.
“Increasing the minimum wage, especially in the private sector, is not only a measure for social justice, but a fast and effective boost to our deteriorating economy. For many years, Puerto Rico had an autonomous minimum-wage system, where some sectors and industries received an even larger salary than the federal minimum. There is no reason for us not to return quickly to a similar model,” affirmed Acevedo Vilá.
In the letter, the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) member encouraged the chief executive to raise the minimum wage for employees in multinational retailers and fast food chains with $50 million net sales a year to $10.
In addition, he recommended to condition any new tax relief on the beneficiary to pay its employees with a wage above the federal minimum, of $7.25, and to tie certain tax exemptions and government incentives on a larger minimum wage.
The former governor referenced a publication on his blog with a similar proposal. “On October 25, 2015, I published a proposal in a blog entry to address the concern you are voicing today. I present it to you, with certain modifications, so it can be considered seriously,” he wrote.
In reference to Rosselló’s executive orders last week to raise the minimum wage for public employees in the central government and government contractors in the construction sector to $8.25 per hour, Acevedo Vilá stressed in the missive that “this raise is insignificant, because it would only benefit 1,526 employees in the central government,” according to his estimates.
Acevedo Vilá affirmed he is open to discuss his ideas with the executive.