Labor Day 2023: Workers’ stories


“I am here to join workers in demanding for a wage increase. The minimum wage in the provinces especially is very low. I earn P470 a day and with two kids, it’s barely enough to make ends meet… We just formed a union last year. We hope that we can negotiate with the management for higher wages.”

– Cristopher, minimum wage earner in an electronics factory in Laguna and a member of the Philippine Metal Workers Alliance

“There are employees in our company who are newly hired, yet they earn wages that are around 50% higher. I have been working there for 10 years and yet I get paid less. We practically do the same kind of work for the same company. We think that’s wage discrimination.”

– Alexis, field checker for a shipping company based in Manila

“There are 81 of us here who were laid off by San Miguel Corporation last April 2. They just told us not to go to work anymore because SMC terminated its contract with our company SMC Logistics. But it’s just the same company! Now we don’t know what to do. I can’t be jobless,my family will go hungry. We demand to return to work. I’m glad to be here because it makes me feel we’re all in this together.”

– Ryan, forklift operator for 12 years at San Miguel Integrated Logistic Services plant in Pampanga

“I dressed up as Abonado Queen because we public school teachers end up paying for classroom repairs, school materials, sometimes even the ‘baon’ (food) of our students, because they are very poor. But we ourselves are poor. I only get P5,900 ($107) every 15th and 30th of the month. I have been teaching for 18 years and yet I am still only receiving Salary Grade 13. Our demand is Salary Grade 15. So that we can live decently and not be buried in debt.”

– Cecille, public school teacher in Manila for 18 years


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