DAVAO CITY — Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno, dared candidates to support the call for a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide a week after politicians filed their certificate of candidacies.
In a protest action in Mendiola Thursday, workers carried a tarpaulin streamer bearing the faces of presidentiables Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Grace Poe, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, and the faces of vice-presidentiables Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Antonio Trillanes, Representative Leni Robredo and Gringo Honasan, and their call.
Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary general said Filipino workers “need a significant wage increase in the form of a P125 across-the-board wage hike now more than ever, after wages were severely pressed down under the presidency of Noynoy Aquino.”
“Filipino workers and their families experience hunger and indebtedness as they face the 2016 elections. We want workers’ wages to be one of the main agenda in the national discussion before the elections,” said Adonis.
The labor leader said that some of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates may further expose themselves as “extremely pro-capitalist and anti-worker and express outright opposition to the call for a wage hike”.
Adonis cited independent think-tank Ibon Foundation’s mid-year study which shows that the Family Living Wage, or the amount needed daily by an average Filipino family to live decently, stands at P1,088 – a far cry from the P481 minimum wage in Metro Manila, a level that is the highest in the country.
“Only a significant wage hike, and not the meager adjustments approved by the country’s regional wage boards, could bring relief to workers suffering from hunger and indebtedness. This is something all candidates for national positions should understand,” Adonis added.
The labor group is also calling for a National Minimum Wage, saying the regionalization of wages should be ended and the regional wage boards abolished in order to uphold workers’ right to a minimum wage. (davaotoday.com)