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    Chile's President Sebastian Pinera listens to his national anthem at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil April 27, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 May 2018

Unions in Chile have been trying to increase the nation's minimum wage for the past four years, and are hoping one will take place by July 1.

The Chilean government and the Workers' United Center of Chile union (CUT) will resume discussion regarding the country’s minimum wage, a debate that Congress has left in limbo since 2016.

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It has been nearly two years since the Chilean Congress has taken up the debate to increase the national minimum wage. Back then legislatures had decided to augment wages by 26 pesos, from 250,000 to 276,000 or, from US$400 to US$441 by January 2017. The former finance minister under Michelle Bachelet, Rodrigo Valdes, brought the proposal to parliament after talks with CUT began in 2014.

CUT is now hoping that a 2-3 percent nominal increase in wages can be maintained and put into effect by July 1.

Minister of housing Felipe Larrain under the current conservative president, Sebastian Piñera, says tomorrow’s discussion needs to include representatives from small and medium-sized businesses, being that they employ a large portion of the nation’s workers. The economist from the University of Chile and housing ministry consultant, Alejandro Alarcon, tells Bio Bio Chile that what’s important is that labor conditions be improved.

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