Workers group to Noynoy: “P125 legislated wage hike, not alms!”

KMU-NCR calls for abolition of regional wage boards anew

As the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board for the National Capital Region (RTWPB-NCR) hold its first public hearing on wage adjustments today, militant workers group, Kilusang Mayo Uno – National Capital Region storms the Department of Labor and Employment office in Manila to reiterate their call for the immediate abolition of regional wage boards (RWB’s). The group said that with almost two decade-existence of RWB’s, no meaningful and substantial wage hikes were implemented.

Protesters said that National Wages and Productivity Board (NWPB) only knows to give alms to our working people and is being used by past administrations and big businesses to getaway themselves from giving higher wages for the workers. On the records of the NWPB, the highest wage adjustment in NCR made is implemented from 1999-2000 which only costs P26.50.

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They also slam the Labor Day speech of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III and said that it is mere grandstanding and gives nothing but empty promises and false hopes to workers. The rally today also serves as their indignation over inactions of PNoy to the long-drawn demands of workers for a P125 legislated wage hike. President Aquino yesterday points finger and gives full play to RWB’s in evaluating price of wage hikes to be implemented. PNoy also focuses on giving non-wage benefits for workers and new contractual employment for jobless Filipinos during DOLE’s job and livelihood fairs yesterday.

“‘The RWB is a major hindrance why realization of the growing clamor for a P125 wage hike remains elusive. Through the RWB, PNoy has excuse why it can’t implement a P125 wage increase despite rising cost of oil, petroleum products, food and other basic commodities and services,” says Roy Velez, KMU-NCR chairperson.

Velez added, “It is indeed illogical why there is a need for RWB, which only regionalizes wage increases. Is the hunger and poverty felt by workers and their families here in Metro Manila differ with that in other regions in the Philippines? Clearly, RWB’s only worsen the cheap and docile labor state in the country.”

After the rally at DOLE, members of KMU-NCR trooped the venue of the public hearing of the RTWPB-NCR in the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City to loudly register their demands for the abolition of RWB’s and the P125 wage increase across-the-board nationwide. #

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