• Research report 130. Depredation of the working classes during the misrule of Enrique Peña Nieto. Wage inequality in Mexico is the product of capitalist exploitation

    Published the Tuesday 18 in December of 2018 7:17 am CAM No comment


    It is during the government of Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado (1982-1988) when it expressed and clearly initiated what would be the Neoliberal Policy in Mexico, which it was imposed by the major international financial capital, after having applied by various methods violent, legal and also illegal in other countries such as Chile, England, USA, etc.

    Peña Nieto's government is the synthesis of the horrific war, which for more than thirty-five years they have faced the working classes of the Mexican people. This government balance showed as a country of more than 1 thousand 500 pits, the so far located in 23 of the 31 states of the Mexican Republic; feminicidios; and more of 21 thousand missing. This situation has made the history and direction of the nation, as is the case of 43 Ayotzinapa students missing and multiple killings of social activists.

    Macroeconomic development of the country recorded during the presidency of Peña Nieto by other alarming figures as terse average growth of gross domestic product (Schedule) of 2.3%, estimated below the world average was 3.4% for the same period. Another indicator is in the exchange rate between the Mexican peso and the US dollar, said parity went from $12.85 in the year 2013 to $20.00 pesos per dollar 2018; debt went from 5.7 trillion pesos more than 11 billions of pesos[1] (increasing debt Mexicans over 100%). One wonders Does what fate befell, Where did he go? Who will pay the debt? What social cost will be paid? What is the economic and political costs paid and paid and for how long? And many more questions.

    Also, the Mexican working people have been paying for decades the cost of the policies of neoliberal governments, regardless of the color of the political party in turn to those who administer the government, that by the so-called alternation they have implemented wage and labor policies that are far from the real needs of the working class and the Mexican people. Marx pointed out that: “(…) The worker is poorer the more wealth produce, the more his production increases in power and volume. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities produced. The devaluation of the human world grows in direct proportion to the value of the world of things " (Marx, 1987, PAG. 105). This appointment becomes effective in the current analysis, to be precise: the minimum wage lost 11.46 % their purchasing power only during the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto, that seen in perspective with the entire period of neoliberalism has meant accumulated impairment loss in purchasing power 88.71%. Additionally unemployment and precarious employment have Galloping way, are 7 million 466 thousand unemployed workers, represented an unemployment rate of 12.4% for the 2017[2].

    You might think that today is an opportunity for a break to not drown in the capitalist world full of hardships for employees, especially for the many who live in our work. However, there can not be a true national project on those bases that run a capitalism that has shown to have the ability to distort the essence of the human, seeking to offset the damage incorporating some economic policies. It is unthinkable to think that today the living conditions of the working classes are exempt from the exploitation of man by man, but rather the opposite, the accumulation of capitalist wealth will continue based on the intensification of exploitation, the repression, discrimination and dispossession of the working classes. Recall that the wage implies itself, unpaid labor and appropriation of surplus.

    In this research we present some research developments around the minimum wage, real wages, the purchasing power of the minimum wage, the price of the recommended food basket (CAR), real inflation in food, distribution of income levels in the employed, workers who work more and may buy less and working time needed to acquire the CAR.

    1. 1. Why it is unconstitutional the minimum wage in Mexico

    In the Constitution of the United Mexican States the legal nature of the Article plasma 123, fraction VI, which literally says:

    "Minimum wages that workers should enjoy will be general or professional. The first governed in the geographical areas to be determined; second apply in certain branches of economic activity or profession, trades or special assignments. The minimum wage may not be used as an index, unity, base, or reference measure for purposes other than nature. The general minimum wage must be sufficient to meet the normal requirements of a householder, in the material order, social and cultural, and to provide for the compulsory education of children. Professional minimum wages shall be fixed considering, In addition, the conditions of economic activities. Minimum wages by a national commission composed of representatives of workers will be set, patterns and government, which may be assisted by the special advisory committees it deems necessary for the proper performance of their duties ".[3]

    This is the constitutional foundation upon which converge the concept of minimum wage and its relation to Article 90 Federal Labor Law, which literally says:

    "Minimum wage is the lowest amount to be paid in cash the employee for services rendered in a working day"[4].

    According to the Constitution of the United Mexican States so that it is really respected and not violated, the Mexican worker should receive for their work (time or piecework) a necessary minimum wage to cover basic needs in material order: housing, feeding, dress, footwear, education, Bless you, and cultural recreation for him and his family.

    For the vast majority of the working population employed it has historically been unheeded Article 123. In the frame 1 a fraction of the shown employed population working and receives no income basis, for the third quarter of the 2018 the figure recorded 3 million 480 thousand workers. It is noteworthy that much of this work is child or illegal nature and is expressed mainly in rural areas and / or in industrial cities maquiladoras.

    With the implementation of labor reform in December 2012, one of the many consequences is place deepening the process of devaluation of the labor market, twinned with a drop money wage rate, in nominal terms. In the frame 1 the following shows:

    • First: the highest percentage of population by income levels is concentrated in the range of 1 minimum wage to 3 minimum wages. This trend has increased in recent years;
    • Second: the population meets income levels 3 minimum wages to 5 Minimum wages have fallen, step in 2013 of 7 million 894 thousand workers 6 million 908 thousand workers 2018.
    • Third: Is widespread practice in recruitment, where less money is paid for the same jobs with fewer benefits, It is in this sense that one can understand the trend that has increased the population that is at the entry level 1 minimum wage to 3 minimum wages, This is, that for 2013 went from 29 million 800 thousand workers 33 million 500 thousand for the third quarter of 2018.

    The next thing that should be considered in analyzing the unconstitutional character of wages is related to the real wage, same as it explained with fluctuations in prices of commodities that workers should consume and how these oscillations may impact their consumption levels. This situation has to do with the lack, abandonment of regulation and real control of prices as a public policy (wage-price relationship) Mexican State, repeating the breach of article 28 constitutional, third paragraph, which literally says:

    "The laws shall establish bases so that maximum prices are indicated Articles, materials or products that are considered necessary for the national economy or the popular consumption, as well as to impose forms to the Organization of the distribution of those items, materials or products, in order to avoid unnecessary or excessive intermediations cause failure in the supply, as well as rising prices. The law will protect consumers and will lead to your organization for the best care of their interests"

    In August of 1982 It is declared the so-called debt crisis, which leads to the neoliberal model, Graphic 1 It shows the behavior of real wages, when the precipitous decline in real wages that has involved the lag in living standards and increasing poverty for workers begins.

    Understanding capitalism and neoliberalism particularly over the last 36 years, It involves placing the real wage as an indicator that allows us to explain the size of the level of dispossession that workers have suffered.

    Graphic 1.

    1. 2. The working classes are increasingly working longer and more years, but paradoxically they may consume less

    Size analysis of dispossession to which we are subject as workers necessarily imply relate to the purchasing power of wages and working time required to buy the CAR intended[5].

    We can see in the picture 2 the following items on income levels and consumption of the working class:

    • First: The overall correlation between the nominal minimum wage and the price of the CAR shows that during neoliberalism, product wage policies of the Mexican State, It has generated a toll increase 24,274 % the minimum wage, faced with the 215,075 % registered in the price of the CAR. I.e., the cumulative increase in 36 years meant for the working class, that for every peso that increased the minimum wage to rise substantially 10 price weights CAR, which it was the result of no regulation and state intervention on prices of commodities in complicity with capital, not so with the minimum wage, it has been controlled and regulated wage policies of the Mexican State during the phase of neoliberalism.
    • Second: The previous point the importance of an indicator emerges as the purchasing power of wages, tool with which the working class can know the size of dispossession has faced and has been subject, having resulted in the widespread and systematic impoverishment of Mexican workers. The balance of 1 in January of 1982 to the 26 October of the 2018 throws an accumulated loss of purchasing power of wages 88.71% -using as reference the CAR, same that considers commodities and food order, which they are foods without procesar-. The size of the spoil is gigantic, equivalent to having today buying power in real terms only 11 weighing cents 1982, the question is who stayed and why the 89 remaining cents of every peso generated by the worker.

    • Third: For the 1 in January of 1982 with a general minimum wage could buy almost three CAR, for the same year only 4 working hours could generate the salary to buy a CAR. However, for the 26 October of the 2018, a minimum wage only you could buy a third (33%) of that food basket now 2018 required work 23 hours with 58 minutes to buy a CAR.

    Graphic 2.

    In Graph 2 we can see the level of inequality and poverty that has been generated in neoliberalism, on the one hand, the behavior of the general minimum wage is plotted and on the other the price of the CAR.

    In the table 1, we can see what working families in Mexico have stopped using what goes neoliberalism, and it has resulted in a deterioration in food consumption habits and health of Mexicans.

    Talk about a reduction in the purchasing power of wages 88.71% It means that Mexican families are changing the frequency and quality they consume tortilla, the meat, the egg, milk, etc. In this condition are 36 million 992 workers[6] who they have a wage that they can hardly buy a CAR, and that this figure represents 68.47 % of the total employed population for the third quarter of 2018.

    Table 1.

    • During the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto loss of purchasing power of wages reached 11.46%

    During the sixth government report Enrique Peña Nieto (2013-2018) it was stated as government speech that "(…) The general minimum wage accumulated a recovery of purchasing power 17%, the highest for a similar period in the last seven administrations (…)”[7]. this assertion, besides being completely false, It is an insult and a clear sign of proceeding with legislating who have operated and implemented public policies that today are mired in poverty for millions of working families. Also, leaves in full evidence the level of ignorance and commitment to the interests of big capital of Enrique Peña Nieto and his expensive team of advisors who fail to distinguish the differences between nominal wage and real wage.

    Graphic 3.

    In the frame 3 and graphics 3 It shows that the fall in purchasing power of wages was 11.46% during the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto, increasing the time that working to acquire a CAR, for the 1 January of the 2013 They were required to work 21 hours with 13 minutes, for the 26 October of the 2018 reached the 23 hours with 58 minutes as illustrated in the graph 4.

    Graphic 4.

    With a union state policy based on corporate control of unionism they have driven standardization policies under an employment scheme in which the working classes have had to face a labor market that demands the widespread reduction in wages and benefits for the benefit of capital accumulation.

    So it is no accident for workers systematically increased time required work must allocate to acquire the indispensable. In the graph 5 we can see the trend increase working time necessary, in 1988 They were recognized by the government a total of 2 million 336 thousand workers who were beginning to break Border 48 hours of work per week, However, for the 2018 the figure reaches 15 million 317 thousand, increasing 655.0 % in 30 years. Currently workers normally work daily working hours up 16 hours to try to get enough salary to allow them to meet minimum essential needs.

    Graphic 5.

    In conclusion:

    Neoliberal governments have sought mechanisms to clarify the true cause of backwardness and deterioration in wage levels of the vast majority of the working class, which as a result has brought a systematic impoverishment for Mexican workers, making positions as those of the recent President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in which he stated that the theory of exploitation did not apply in the case of Mexico, statement made during a campaign speech for president in the Acaquilpan kings, Mexico State stating that: “from a position of the most classic and academic theorists who stayed with the idea that inequality is caused by the exploitation of workers made, exploits the bourgeois to proletarian, that accumulates profits and those profits appropriates the owner of the means of production and therefore the inequality and poverty, but Mexico does not apply the theory of everything, Here the great fortunes have been accumulated through corruption, under public power, so we will be no corruption, It is to separate economic power from political power "[8]. First this kind of visions vehemently ignored the origin and reproduction of the social formation of capitalism, and rather they are the result of a class position in the speech that seeks cancel the class struggle, substituting the subject. Also, both exploitation corruption, They are two faces of the same coin, and present as some of the natural mechanisms in capitalism for licit and illicit gain.

    By last, monetary resources that faces a capitalist corruption to maintain or obtain a higher gain is evading its responsibilities. For example, in fiscal order with taxes, in the legal, politically, etc, You never put that money in your pocket capitalist, but rather will get expropriating workers from intensify exploitation. So if you diminish corruption will no longer exist exploitation ergo no inequality in wage levels.

    Therefore, both the employer's proposal to increase the minimum wage as mentioned in voice coparmex (COPARMEX), suggesting that increases in 88.36 to 98.15 pesos daily salary for the year 2019[9], but turn, considered unlikely to reach 176 daily weights towards the end of the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador; and the proposal of the current government in the voice of Mayor Maria Luisa head of the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare (STyPS), which projects 100 Daily pesos for the year 2019, increasing the minimum wage annually to reach 176 daily weights towards the end of six years in the 2024[10]. Opposite the historic accumulation in the deteriorating purchasing power of wages, the two proposals raised in a completely unconstitutional scenario which continues the tradition of the old regime to corrupt the spirit of the Constitution of the United Mexican States, so serious and insolvent it is the positioning of the current government will not reverse its unconstitutional character or, nor reversed the level of deterioration in income of Mexican workers, although the general minimum wage to rise to 200 pesos per day, would be insufficient remembering and placing as a first parameter the daily price of the CAR to 26 October of the 2018 is of $ 264.84 pesos per day.

    Another contraction and absurd obvious

    The previous government of Enrique Peña Nieto offered "jobs" to members of the migrant caravan of Central America, as containment policy trying to avoid crossing the US border. However, what kind of precarious jobs could offer the Mexican government (in the graphic 6 we can see that from the 2014 To date, the wage in Honduras was superior by far to that of Mexico), for the year 2018, doing in comparison equivalence of wages in dollars, Honduras has an average minimum wage 14.62 dollars per working day 8 hours, while Mexico has a general minimum wage 4.35 flycatchers per workday 8 hours, which represents a difference in favor of Honduras 236 %.

    For Central American migrants the possibility of "Mexican dream" that sold them the government of Enrique Peña Nieto and now the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Could it really be an option?

    Graphic 6.

    We think that to speak of a "just wage" actually should assume redress the historical level of dispossession that have been subject to Mexican workers result of the exploitation of the labor force. However, pays little place arguments that are veiled the true interests to increase the minimum wage in Mexico. We live a labor market completely subordinated to the needs of capital accumulation, We think that increases the minimum wage to come should not focus on increased labor productivity, talk about double the amount of wages in Mexico is to understand that will surely be accompanied by an increase in the productivity of the labor force not only at the same rate of salary increase, including but will be even greater and that is the way in which a process of deepening exploitation of the workforce operates, which remain in the background for the benefit of the capitalist Mexican labor force competitive, productive and also one of the cheapest worldwide. Thus it can be seen in Graphs 7 and 8.

    Graphic 7.

    Graphic 8.

    All of the above, We pose the following questions:

    What the minimum wage in Mexico is still unconstitutional consultation will also be made?

    In the world and in the country where we live could be a fair wage?

    Why ministers of the Nation Supreme Court has not ruled on whether the current minimum wage or violates the Constitution of the United Mexican States?

    Why it has existed for many years an absolute silence of Legislature, executive and judicial on the unconstitutional character of the general minimum wage?

    Literature and / or sources of information


    INEGI, National occupation and employment survey, September 2018.

    Carlos Marx, Economics and Philosophy Manuscripts, Alianza Editorial, 1987, Madrid.

    Political Constitution of the United States Mexican.

    Multidisciplinary Analysis Center (CAM): UNAM Faculty of Economics. direct surveys. Several years.

    [1] The Bank of Mexico.

    [2] Research report 129. Jobs that do not need Mexican workers: President of precarious employment. Multidisciplinary analysis of the UNAM Center, February of 2018. PAG. 6.

    [3] Political Constitution of the United States Mexican. Accessed day 5 of December. Available in: HTTPS://www.juridicas.unam.mx/legislacion/ordenamiento/constitucion-politica-de-los-estados-unidos-mexicanos

    [4] In this report we will emphasize the salary that is considered basic or direct, that is the cash that a worker receives for his work.


    [5] The recommended food basket (CAR) It was designed by Dr. Abelardo Avila Curiel of the Instituto Nacional de Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, is formed by 40 food, excluding expenses that require preparation, Neither the payment of rent in housing, transport, dress, footwear, toilet staff and many other goods and services that fall within the consumption of a family, It is only in relation to the cost of basic food. The CAR is a weighted basket, use and daily consumption, to a Mexican family of 4 people (2 adults, a / young man and a / child) where nutritional aspects are taken into account, of diet, of tradition and habits cultural.

    [6] The data considered employed workers with no income more than those found in the level of income between 1 minimum wage to 3 minimum wages, figure for the third quarter of 2018.

    [7] Sixth Government Report (2017-2018), United States of Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto, Pág.XX.

    [8]Neoliberalism continues with AMLO, Desinformémonos, 2 of July 2018. Available online: https://desinformemonos.org/neoliberalismo-continua-amlo/ Consulted the 9 December 2018.

    [9]CONASAMI reviews all proposals on minimum wage increase, The Economist, 27 September 2018. Available online: https://www.eleconomista.com.mx/empresas/Conasamirevisatodas-las-propuestas-sobre-aumento-al-salario-20180927-0072.html Consulted the 2 of December 2018.

    [10] New government will work for decent wages: Luisa Maria Alcalde, The day, 3 of December 2018. Available online: https://www.jornada.com.mx/ultimas/2018/12/03/nuevo-gobierno-trabajara-por-salarios-dignos-luisa-maria-alcalde-3849.html Consulted the 4 of December 2018.

    He says

    Please complete the empty field to verify that you are human * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

Made in Mexico, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM), all rights reserved 2013 - 2022. This page may be reproduced for non-profit purposes, is provided do not mutilate, They cite the complete source and your email address. Otherwise it requires prior written permission of the institution. Credits
%d bloggers like this:
Subscribe to the contents of the CAM

Do this article like? Subscribe to our publications!
Don't forget to check your email to confirm the subscription