Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Labor groups press P150 wage hike

Nagkaisa chairman and Federation of Free Workers president Sonny Matula

ORGANIZED labor groups will march today, Labor Day, to Morayta Street in Manila to dramatize their call for a P150 legislated wage increase and a dialogue with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The labor groups, composed of trade union centers, labor federations and workers' organizations in both the private and public sectors, will march under the National Wage Coalition (NWC) banner.

Leading them are the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) and Nagkaisa Labor Coalition (Nagkaisa).

"Passing the P150 wage recovery increase is only the first yet pivotal step that the Philippines should take to actualize living wages embodied in proposed legislation for a P750 daily wage increase for private sector workers and a new Salary Standardization Law (SSL) anchored on the P33,000 monthly minimum wage for public sector workers," the NWC said in a statement.

Officials from the Department of Labor and Employment will be at a meeting with the labor representatives in MalacaƱang, but there is no guarantee that the President will join them.

The Palace program will be from 8 a.m. to noon. The NWC said they will also hold a program in Morayta early in the morning of May 1.

The NWC stressed the need for a dialogue with the President, which is traditionally done every Labor Day celebration.

Aside from the wage hike, the labor groups want to discuss challenges regarding job security due to rampant contracting practices and the need for enhanced freedom of association.

"The lack of dialogue with the President has been a concerning pattern that can no longer be overlooked," said Sonny Matula, Nagkaisa chairman and Federation of Free Workers president. "As we observe Labor Day, it is paramount that these significant concerns are addressed directly with President Marcos to ensure the effective representation and advancement of workers' rights and welfare."

The NWC also called on Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin and Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma to facilitate a meeting with the President. - By William B. Depasupil

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