Unions in Algeria Agree 66 Pct Minimum Wage Rise
The Algerian government has agreed to raise the national minimum wage by 66 percent, in a bid to calm growing unease over economic reform, unionists said Friday.
The government, trade unions and employers, who have been holding talks here since Thursday, also agreed to up civil servants' salaries by 25 percent, the head of the General Union for Algerian Workers (UGTA) Abdelmadjid Sidi Said said.
The agreement, if ratified by the cabinet, will see the national minimum wage go up from 6,000 dinars (91 euros, 77 dollars) to 10,000 (152 euros, 128 dollars).
The UGTA had called for the new minimum to be 15,000 dinars (229 euros, 192 dollars).
Over the last five years Algeria has, at the behest of the International Monetary Fund, launched a liberalization program to dismantle its heavily centralized economy.
The program has seen about 1,000 state-run businesses shut down with the loss of nearly 400,000 jobs, pushing unemployment to around 30 percent.
Official estimates say that more than half of Algeria's population of 30 million live below the poverty threshold -- ALGIERS (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)