55,000 Bolivian textile workers may lose jobs: COTEXBO

April 29, 2014 - Bolivia

Around 55,000 workers operating in the textile sector of the western-central South American country of Bolivia are at a risk of losing their jobs, owing to the Government’s decision to increase the minimum wage by 20 percent and basic salary by 10 percent, said Bolivian Textile Conglomerate (COTEXBO) CEO Jesus Acosta.

According to the COTEXBO official, around 15,000 entrepreneurs operate in the Bolivian textile sector, and around 55,000 workers are at risk of losing their jobs, as these entrepreneurs would not be able to provide the increased wage rate, reports Bolivian newspaper Erbol.

Mr. Acosta explained that medium enterprises in the textile sector of the country employ around 100 workers, whereas small enterprises employ a minimum of 25 workers and micro enterprises employ only 10 workers.

If the Government constantly increases the minimum wage rate, small business enterprises would end up closing operations because of inability to cover production costs and salary increases, he added.

Last week, Bolivian President Evo Morales announced that the Government would be increasing the National Minimum Wage (SMN) in the country by 20 percent and the basic salary by 10 percent, due to recovery of the nation’s economy in 2013.

The Bolivian President explained that the decision to increase the minimum wage was arrived after extensive discussions with the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB), the Bolivian Workers’ Center, which also agreed with the wage rate.