DOLE secretary resignation sought
BAGUIO CITY (Jan. 25) – Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)-Cordillera challenges the senators to uphold the long overdue demand of Filipino workers for a legislated wage increase and demanded the resignation of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Arturo Brion. It also enjoined labor to persevere in pushing for meaningful wages and benefits.
In a statement, KMU-Cordillera called on the senators to adopt House Bill 345 or the P125 across-the-board wage increase. The group also said the senators should not give in to the pressures of big businessmen
“They should not follow the examples of the traitorous and anti-worker stand of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) Secretary Arturo Brion and his cohorts who shamelessly claimed that such wage increase would mean mass closure of businesses and will result to massive retrenchment and unemployment,” the statement read.
KMU-Cordillera iterated that if the senators would stand by their sworn duty to serve their constituents they should pass the wage bill as a big number of voters come from the workers.
The labor group demands that Brion should resign for his anti-wage hike st-ance. “He should step down immediately as his actions stand for the interests of the businessmen and capitalists,” the group said.
According to a DoLE document, the displacement of workers due to wage increases is just 1% in the list of reasons of closures and retrenchments in 2006.
The Institute of Political Economy (IPE), said 96.6% of establishments resorting to closure and retrenchment in 2006 are due to the impacts of anti-labor policies and measures the government itself is adhering in the name of globalization.
“KMU-Cordillera joins their fellow workers with utmost vigilance in making sure that the wage hike would finally be implemented. Although the said increase will come into P45-40-40 installments for three years as approved in the House of Representatives last year, this will be of help to the workers to ease their financial hardships and to cope with the continuous increase in prices of basic commodities,” the statement further read.
Thousands of workers, progressive labor unions and organizations led by KMU trooped to the Senate at the opening of its regular and final session last January 22 as a part of a series of the nationally coordinated actions to pressure government officials to the P125 wage increase. On the eve of January 21, the first wave of workers camped outside the senate building in Pasay City.
KMU-Cordillera also commends progressive partylist representatives and other well-meaning congressmen for approving HB P125.
“KMU salutes the courage and leadership of Anakpawis partylist Representative Crispin Beltran in fighting for the legislation of the P125 wage increase. History proved that “Ka Bel” is the real big guy genuinely pushing for the wage increase,” the statement added, as workers demand for the immediate release of Beltran.
KMU also warned Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that vetoing the wage hike will be her doom as it will only intensify the outrage of the workers and the rest of the poor Filipinos united with the other sectors who are disappointed with the administration’s anti-people policies.
KMU-Cordillera also calls on the workers not to give up the struggle for a meaningful wage, just benefits and genuine advancement of the workers’ welfare. # via NORDIS