June 21, 2010
Big business owners, led by The Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) should stop mouthing possible retrenchments and closures over the approval of the P22 minimum wage increase in Metro Manila, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno said today as it called such tactic as a “blackmail” to discredit workers’ call for a substantial wage hike.
“ECOP should shut up and stop its layoff blackmail against workers who only wanted mere survival amid rising cost of living. Their argument of potential job cuts due to the measly P22 wage increase is an added insult to us who are deprived of decent wages,” KMU chairperson Elmer “Bong” Labog said.
Labog said workers have long known that mass retrenchments have been implemented even without any single cent added to the minimum wage.
“What ECOP is floating is a double nightmare for us. It is pushing us to the brink of joblessness even as we received only mere crumbs, all in the name of further reducing labor costs to maximize profits,” he said.
KMU said reported net earnings of major domestic companies actually increased to P358 in 2009 as stated in the latest Philippine Stock Exchange report, which it said “clearly debunks the myth of companies still suffering as claimed by ECOP.”
Workers to guard ECOP’s warning
The P22 wage increase in NCR will be implemented on July 1.
“ECOP is simply overreacting to a measly wage hike which can never hurt its members’ profits, even up to the extent of floating retrenchments and closures as options. These are not simply overkill statements, but dangerous threats to our livelihood,” Labog said.
“We warn ECOP against turning its blackmail into our nightmare by implementing mass job cuts upon the expected day of implementation of the wage increase. We are also warning other business chambers against duplicating ECOP’s lies and antics,” the labor leader added.
KMU said it will launch massive protests should business groups push through with their layoff blackmail. “They will definitely taste the wrath of workers long deprived of any decency in this country.”
KMU will also continue to pressure the new administration to act on the P125 nation-wide wage hike immediately.
Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog