16 December 2010
‘ILO report affirms need for substantial wage hike’ – KMU
Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno said today that substantially increasing workers’ wages is made all the more necessary by the global financial and economic crisis.
The labor center was reacting to the International Labor Organization’s recently-released Global Wage Report which shows that workers’ wages in the Philippines suffered one of the biggest cuts in Asia because of the global crisis. The report showed that real wages in the country were reduced by 4%, indicating a widening of the gap between workers’ productivity and their wages.
“The ILO report on wages merely confirms what we workers have been experiencing all along – that what we can buy with our wages has been steadily decreasing. It is an additional weapon in our arsenal of arguments for a substantial wage increase,” said Lito Ustarez, KMU executive vice-chairperson.
“The reduction of workers’ real wages because of the global crisis is another reason why the Aquino government should legislate a substantial wage hike immediately. Such an increase will give workers an immediate relief from the soaring prices of basic commodities and give them a bigger fraction of what they worked for,” he added.
Hearing for wage hike bill cancelled
KMU also criticized the House of Representatives Committee on Labor and Employment, headed by Northern Samar 2nd District Rep. Emil Ong, for cancelling a hearing on a wage hike bill last Dec. 15. The hearing was supposed to discuss House Bill 375 filed by Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano, which seeks to legislate a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide.
“The cancellation of the Dec. 15 committee hearing for a wage hike bill hits a raw nerve among the Filipino workers and people who want the bill approved immediately. It shows that congressmen are insensitive towards the plight of private sector workers. Instead of welcoming every opportunity to understand workers’ pressing calls for a wage hike, they just acted like they don’t care,” Ustarez said.
“The House of Representatives should take the opportunity presented by HB 375 to do something good for the Filipino workers and people, rectify its error in the past of not passing a substantial wage hike bill, and pay its long-standing debt to the workers,” he added.
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