KMU: Wage hike not cause for retrenchment
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) said that the business groups are once again justifying their opposition to wage increases by using the threat of retrenchments. KMU said this is a long discredited excuse because workers lose their jobs even without any wage hikes.
The labor group said this in reaction to the recent warning of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) that businesses will be forced to retrench workers in case of wage increases. KMU said ECOP reiterated its position against granting wage hikes.
According to KMU chairperson Elmer “Bong” Labog, ECOP is reviving a myth and a worn-out alibi which has already been debunked by workers. Labog said this excuse can never convince workers to let go of the justified demand for wage increase amid rising prices of basic commodities and services.
For years, workers led by KMU and Anakpawis partylist have been struggling for a P125 legislated wage increase across the board nationwide. This they insist instead of pegged wage hikes being pushed by other labor groups.
Labog said that it is gravely insulting that the Ecop and other business chambers are forcing Filipino workers between wage freeze and mass retrenchments. Labog added that workers all over the country are suffering from mass retrenchments and wage freeze since last year amid price hikes.
KMU slams Ecop’s claim that companies are still recovering from the impact of the global financial and economic crisis. KMU said the workers are suffering more from the adverse effects of the said crisis.
“These business groups consistently justify status quo on wage rates to supposedly make room for recovery for companies. But what about the recovery of workers? How do you expect us to recover with measly wages and continuing retrenchments?” Labog asked.
KMU vowed it will intensify its struggle for a P125 wage hike especially that the International Labor Day is nearing. KMU also said it will challenge presidential bets and other candidates to take a position and include in their agenda a legislated increase on the Filipino workers’ wages.
“The way these economists and businessmen picture recovery is simply absurd – a “recovery” of businesses, not of the people. In fact, they are overlooking the roots of the global crisis. They are glossing over the fact that major lending institutions collapsed partly because workers’ wages have remained depressed, denying them any means to pay loans,” Labog ended.#nordis.net