Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pinche Aguinaldo

I just need a quick moment of.....


Thank you, sorry for yelling.

Every year at Christmas employees in Mexico receive what is known as the "aguinaldo" or Christmas bonus. It is the law that they receive 15 days pay before December 20th. In past years I have been on "honorarios" which means I am an independent contractor to the company and was not entitled to aguinaldos as I was not an employee. That said, every year in the past my company has given me 2000 or 2500 pesos anyway as a bit of a bonus. I changed to "nomina" this year and am an "official" employee of the company. I fully expected to at least get the 2000 I received in years past but though it would be my full two weeks pay (I'll be honest, about 3200 pesos). I went to take out money this morning and was told I had insufficient funds. I knew they were depositing the aguinaldos yesterday so I was confused. I checked the recent transactions in my account and found a deposit from yesterday for 500 pesos. Yep, 500 lousy freaking pesos, fifty bucks. I called our coordinator who said there must be a mistake, I should have received 15 days worth. She called the accountant who said "Nope, that's what she gets, the minimum". I am livid. I bawled my eyes out in the street. I'm hurt and disappointed and angry. I worked six days a week this year for a freaking bonus of 500 pesos??? Our muchacha cleans once a week for 200 pesos and we were planning on giving her 1000 pesos, the company I put all my energy into can't even match the aguinaldo of a day-a-week cleaning lady?


Yes, I am upset. Bah freaking humbug otra vez.


Anonymous said...

What they have done to you is unlawful - no?

Time to protest!

Feliz Navidad in spite of those Scrooges!

Juan Calypso

Manolo said...

WTF? Was that all the reason they give you? That you get the minimum? I don't know the laws in México, but it seems they are trying to "verte la cara de pendeja".
Good luck, eh... a hug.

My Way said...

I have a feeling the same thing is going to happen to me too. Same idea behind it all. And yes, in the past they just gave it to us anyways.


Anonymous said...

Chingada escuela.

Are you nomina? If you're nomina, I'm pretty sure they screwed you. If you use receipts, then they don't owe you anything as a contratista, although they would manage to cough up a small amount for me.

CancunCanuck said...

Juan Calypso, yes I think it's illegal, everything I read online at least indicates that it's a MINIMUM of 15 days pay though employers are encouraged to give 20 or 30 days. Feliz Navidad a ti tambien, gracias por tu comenta y bienvenida!

Manolo, yep, that's the whole reason I got. Part of the problem is the director is on maternity leave and the accountant was on his way to Villahermosa this morning so I had to speak with someone who didn't really know what was going on.

Liz, my fingers are crossed that you get more than I did at the very least! :)

Melissa, this is my first year on nomina and I feel like it was a big mistake. I've had nothing but problems since switching, I wish I was back on honorarios. And yes, on honorarios they always managed to slip me a couple thousand pesos. I've sent a couple of emails to our chere directrice, hopefully she can shed some light. I feel bad contacting her on her mat leave, but man I am upset.

Islagringo said...

Bummer doesn't even sum it up. We faithfully give our cleaning lady her bonus AND vacation pay every year. (I think we are the only gringos who here do, judging from things I have heard) Anyway, she works 4 hours a week and this year she qualifies for 1500 pesos. Which is what she will get tomorrow along with the little gift I made her. I'm going to ask around downtown tonight, but I don't think waiters and bartenders get this pay at all.

I hope you get it worked out.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh it's maddening. Are your employers gringos, too? Any way we can write this off to a simple lack of understanding of the laws?

I'm so sorry this happened to you!

Gaahhh...I am giving aguinaldos tomorrow, too...and crossing my fingers that one is coming for me.

I'm crossing my fingers for you, chica.

Fned said...

Urgh! That's so revolting! But are you sure it's finished? I mean surely when the contadora comes back you can go see her and demand an explanation (and the rest of your rightfully owed aguinaldo)??

This reminds me of my best friend's case: for a whole year she worked for this company in mexico city... She was payed next to nothing, was often asked to work overtime and since she lives in Puebla every friday she would take the bus back to Puebla to be with her family and fiance and come back on the 4am bus on Mondays to be in time for work. She's getting married next weekend and she and her bf are going to live in Puebla after the wedding so she was planning on quiting after the holidays to get her complete month's salary AND aguinaldo..... only the company found a sad shit excuse (she had to take an emergency day off to go back to Puebla and they claim she didn't ask permission to be absent although she explicitly told her boss)... anyway, they fired her exactly on the cutoff day you have to be on the nomina to get your aguinaldo for the year!!! Can you imagine the bastards???

It's sad but it's true that when it comes to work ethics and employees' rights, Mexico still has a LOOOOOOONNNNNNGGGG way to go!

Here's hoping you can resolve the issue with your boss and the contadora....


Brice said...

Tienes raison! Bah Freakin' Humbug!


Islagringo said...

UPDATE: I spoke to a lot of waiters and bartenders last night. They all were very much aware of the aguinaldo and what the law says. Not one of them is expecting to receive one though. The employers use the excuse that if you take even one day off that is not your normally scheduled one, than you have not completed a full year's work! This includes sick days! What a crummy bunch of bastards run this country. (oops, Immigration, I didn't mean that. Well sort of maybe)

Anonymous said...

This really sucks for you! I hope you get everything worked out.
Happy holidays to you. I love reading your blog.

CancunCanuck said...

Wayne- I'm with ya brother, if there is a loop hole that allows an employer to not pay, it will be found, if not, one will be created.

fned- I got an email back from the director who is looking into it. She said it didn't sound right but it might be as the pinche accountant didn't switch me to nomina in January like he was supposed to so technically I don't have a full year (only three and a half years working there but oh no, changing to nomina screws things up royally). That's so terrible what they did to your friend, but very typical too.

Brice- Damn straight mother fuckers. Pendejos.

mrsmcgeiver- Great to see you here, thanks for the support and happy holidays right back atcha.

Anonymous said...


My husband used to get an aguinaldo as waiter, albeit a teense-tiny one. Since they only make the salario minimo from their employers and the rest in tips, he'd normally get like 650.

JJ said...

I'm so sorry Chica. It's horrible but I hope it gets cleared up...

I have to comment on being sort of on the flip side of this. While being involved indirectly with a business owned by foreigners (who decided it wasn't important to learn about any of the laws associated with running a business in Mexico...), I had to argue with them about paying aguinaldos to the staff. Much swearing ensued. Their argument was that none of the bars in the zh were paying their staffs, so why should we (this wasn't exactly verifiable since they didn't have any Spanish...)? They ended up paying SOMEthing, based in part on my vehemence, but VERY grudgingly, because they wouldn't have to do that in the US. You know the response to that one - THIS ISN'T THE US. Lots of arguments ended with that one, but the bottom line is, expect to pay them out to your full time staff. It's just the right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

oh man girl im sorry to hear this ...i know the feeling .....when we got our bonus taken away completely i was devastated!!

CancunCanuck said...

gabacha- Thanks girl. Been thinking about you, about last year's Christmas. Oh how things have changed for you and Homeboy! Is he defrosting yet?

jj- Good for you for sticking to it, shame some folks just don't want to play nice in the sand box of life. This isn't the US indeed! (And thank the goddess for that, haha). ;-)

erica- Oh man, I'm so sorry to hear you lost your bonus! Hope things work out great for your family and your sweet little baby.

Sent email to boss, boss replied that she doesn't know what's going on but we will check in the new year. For now I just got to chill about it and say ni modo and move on, life's okie dokie.

Adrians Mama said...

Oh Kelly soo sorry i hope it all works out after the New year!!!

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