Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The good, the bad and the uncertain

Somebody posted the following comment under my recent blog about job insecurity in Honduras. I wanted to repost it here because the writer does make the very valid point that there's much about Honduran employment practices that I don't know.
"While your comments about CASM having one year contracts are technically true, the fact is they still do pay out the benefits at the end of every year. Many employees actually prefer that, so that they get their retirement money at the end of each year and can do with it as they like rather than wait until they finish employment at an organization to get it. Most people would rather control their own retirement money than have an NGO or company have it, and if the NGO flops then they are out their money. There are also annual certified audits and turn in financial & activity reports to the government which would catch if any of the benefits are not being paid. You might want to ask your CASM co-workers more about this, you might not have the full story here. I'm not saying it is a great practice but it actually might be better than you lay it out in your article."
I've since talked to my CASM co-workers more on this subject, as suggested in the comment. They get paid a half a month's additional salary in June and the other half in December, as required under Honduran law. They also receive a little more money for one month of the year in lieu of prestaciones, the health, disability and social benefits that Honduras employers are also required to pay for full-time employees.
So nobody's breaking the law around benefits. And it could be that people do indeed appreciate having the money paid out every year rather than gambling that their employer - and their benefits - will be there when they need them. But that still doesn't address job security.
At any rate, I hadn't intended to disparage CASM's employment practices in my post - I just wanted to make the point out that even when you land a pretty good job here, you still have no job security. I do know that my co-workers don't like going into every single December wondering whether they'll have a job to return to in January.
But I appreciate this comment and all others -  I like feedback, and the chance to pick up new information from those who know more than I do.  

1 comment:

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