KMU hits Ecop’s bid vs P30-wage hike
Militant labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) on Wednesday lashed out at an employers group’s effort to overturn a wage board order granting a P30-wage hike for workers in Metro Manila.
“Napakaliit na nga, inaapela pa (It’s too little as it is, yet it’s still being appealed),” KMU chairman Elmer Labog fumed.
He was referring to the partial motion for reconsideration filed by the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop) before the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NPWC).
In its petition, Ecop said the P30-increase in the daily wage was excessive and unreasonable.
According to Ecop president Edgardo Lacson, the law provides that 10 economic factors must be considered in the determination of wages.
“The grant of the excessive wage increase was clearly not based on the standard of economic feasibility and its correlation with the living and needs of workers and families,” Lacson said in a statement.
He added that the wage board in the National Capital Region apparently did not consider the consumer price index, the capacity to pay of employers and the impact of such a wage hike on employment generation.
“The NWPC, in generalizing conformity with the legal criteria, violated its own implementing policies,” he said. He said that Ecop wanted the NWPC to reverse and set aside the wage board ruling.
Labog said Ecop’s move “highlights how greedy and socially irresponsible the country’s big capitalists are.”
He added, “The big capitalists who call the shots in Ecop are again showing how greedy and socially irresponsible they really are. They show no care at all that workers’ families are already suffering from hunger and poverty.
“Big capitalists’ profits have steadily increased over the years while the real value of workers’ wages have continuously fallen.”
KMU cited a March 2012 study of Ibon Foundation showing that a P125 across-the-board wage increase would only amount to a 12-percent reduction in capitalists’ profits.
KMU added that the research also showed that the net income of the country’s top 1,000 corporations had steadily increased, from P116.4 billion in 2001 to P804.1 billion in 2010.
“They are using the classic tactic of using the threat of massive layoffs in order to force workers to accept meager wages. Capitalists can increase wages without implementing massive layoffs and workers aren’t asking for too much,” he said.
KMU reiterated its call that the House of Representatives and the Senate immediately approve House Bill No. 375 or the P125-Wage Hike Bill, filed by Anakpawis Partylist Representative Rafael Mariano, seeking to legislate a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide.
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