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Washington D. C.– The United States Department of Labor made official today, Monday, the implementation of the president’s executive order Joe Biden that will raise as of January 30, 2022 the minimum wage related to federal contracts to $ 15 per hour, including in Puerto Rico.

It is estimated that the order will benefit about 10,000 workers in Puerto Rico.

According to US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, The order is prospective, as it will apply to new contracts or those that are renewed as of January 30, and includes an increase due to inflation.

It also eliminates the tipped minimum wage for federal contract employees by 2024. Those employees will start earning $ 10.50 on January 30, until they reach the minimum wage for other federal contractors on January 1, 2024.

The order also guarantees a minimum wage of $ 15 for workers with disabilities under federal contracts.

“The workers aided by Executive Order 14026 and today’s final rule do essential work on behalf of our nation. They build and repair federal infrastructure, clean and maintain our national parks, monuments and other federal facilities, care for our veterans, and ensure that federal workers and military service members receive safe and nutritious food, “said Secretary Walsh.

Under an executive order established by then-President Barack Obama in 2014, the minimum wage for workers paid on federal contracts is $ 10.95 per hour. But, that order was not valid on the Island.

According to the Puerto Rican Workers’ Union (SPT), Biden’s executive order will benefit some 8,000 workers from companies dedicated to the manufacture of uniforms in Puerto Rico.

The president of the SPT and vice president of the International Service Employees Union (SEIU), Roberto Pagán, had indicated that when other companies join, the total number of workers in Puerto Rico who will benefit from the order may be between 10,000 and 12,000.

“To all those who said that a minimum wage of $ 15 an hour was impossible in the construction industry, I urge you to come to the table to discuss how we can work together to face the challenges of the industry,” he said, for his part, the spokesman for the International Union of Construction Workers of North America (LiUNA), Edison Severino.

In Puerto Rico, there are 16 companies dedicated to the manufacture of military uniforms, according to the SPT. These companies are located in 13 municipalities: Mayagüez, Corozal, Lares, Arecibo, Moca, Lajas, Adjuntas, Sabana Grande, Guánica, Cabo Rojo, Hatillo, Orocovis and Camuy.

“After more than eight years of struggle and claims in favor of this sector of workers, we have achieved a victory that will have a positive impact on Puerto Rico. In the midst of the pandemic and economic crisis, appropriate compensation is essential, which also stimulates the activation of the working class, ”Pagán said when President Biden signed the executive order.


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