Only big business profit from compressed workweek


BAGUIO CITY — Kilos na Manggagawa Spokesperson Rey Cagomoc in a statement denounced the passage of the Compressed Workweek bill at the House of Representatives (HOR).

House Bill 5068, authored by Baguio Representative Go, passed the third reading at the plenary. The second reading was done on last August 21.

According to Cagomoc, compressed workweek reduces workers to machines.”Workers get tired after hours of performing the heavy work load. This is the reason the 8-hour workday should continuously be fought for. Companies have already profited from employees’ first few hours of labor. To demand more than eight hours is sheer corporate greed,” he said.

Cagomoc said the the acceleration of the Compressed Workweek bill, which was granted passage at the House of Representatives in a matter of days, shows that President Rodrigo Duterte government’s promise of change means quick adjustments for the rich. He stressed that big business owners and foreign investors will gain the most from the Compressed Workweek (CWW) arrangement. He added that large concentration of workers in export-processing zones will suffer the most, because they will be forced to work for longer hours.

Presently, Compressed Workweek (CWW) is allowed by the government. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC), released several orders and memo regarding its implementation. “What the Compressed Workweek bill aims to do now is to make an abusive flexible work arrangement institutionalized and turn it to a general rule,” Cagomoc said.

According to him, CWW is an attack on wages. He said that when a company adjusts the production time, what it is after is cutting the cost of labor.

He explained that from one’s first look, it seems that workers would gain from CWW because of the possibility to earn a few percent higher than the original 6 workday computation, and from getting additional rest days. He said that companies, on the other hand, seem to save from production costs such as electricity and water when factories are at rest.

“In practice, overtime is not paid consistently. And big companies still produce non-stop,” Cagomoc added.

The law states that overtime on an ordinary working day shall be remunerated in an amount equivalent to the worker’s regular basic wage plus twenty-five percent (25%), or thirty percent in other cases.“How many companies follow this guideline? It is already difficult to seek punishment for those who violate the basic wage, what more the overtime. The problem with CWW is not only implementation. The main issue is the direction of national policies, ” he said.

“Compressed workweek is highly exploitative of workers.  We will not be deceived into accepting it,” he ended. #