Loose change for workers; millions for the president – KMU

Media Release
11 Mayo 2011

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned today President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s thumbs up to the P22 Cost of Living Allowance approved by the National Capital Region wage board even as he got richer by P4.8 million in the past year.

“It angers us to hear the NCR wage board’s approval of a meager P22 COLA along with the news of the president becoming P4.8 million richer in the past year. The workers who produce the country’s wealth will only receive loose change while the president who boasts of not increasing his salary has earned millions,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.

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“It is not surprising that the president doesn’t understand the plight of the Filipino workers and people. While we remain dirt poor and buried in debt, the president is enjoying the affluent life of a bachelor. His lifestyle is very far from that of a common worker and Filipino,” he added.

According to KMU, the president was able to boost his personal wealth while failing to increase the already meager wages of workers.

“It fills us with anger that Noynoy has boosted his personal wealth while doing nothing to alleviate the hunger and poverty of the Filipino workers and people. It is clearly too easy for him to gorge up P4.8 million while he is making a show of the difficulty in getting a P20 COLA for the workers approved,” said Soluta.

“It is for this reason that we believe the deliberations in the regional wage boards are nothing but a show. Noynoy was just pretending to show concern and compassion to workers but had no genuine intention of implementing a significant wage hike and giving immediate relief to workers,” he added.

KMU also denounced the president’s gorging of earning from Hacienda Luisita while its workers still receive a meager pay.

“As landlord, he earns a great deal while doing nothing. The country’s workers toil day by day but capitalists and the government continue to downgrade labor’s worth by pressing down wages and benefits,” said Soluta.

“Hacienda Luisita’s agricultural workers still get a scanty pay. This was the very same reason for their strike in 2004, the mere P9.50 worth of a week’s toil that they bring home to their families,” he added.

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