MANILA, Philippines – Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), the country’s largest labor group, reported yesterday that they might defer plans to seek wage hike for minimum wage earners nationwide because of the global economic crisis.
Workers are expecting a package of financial relief that is usually announced by Malacañang during Labor Day on May. 1.
“We are not abandoning the tradition of seeking wage increase, but we may delay it due to the ongoing financial crisis,” TUCP spokesman Alex Aguilar said.
Aguilar said that at this time, TUCP and their affiliate unions are still drafting a list of their “demands” from the government for Labor Day.
He, however, noted that demand for financial relief would not be on the top of their agenda.
“On the top of our list this year is for the National Government to grant unemployment insurance or monthly subsidy for workers displaced by the ongoing financial crisis,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar said TUCP is pushing for the implementation of various programs that would facilitate re-employment and other assistance for the displaced workers.
“Our displaced workers needed support, including financial assistance while they are looking for new sources of livelihood,” Aguilar pointed out.
Records from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) showed that over 50,000 workers nationwide have been displaced as a result of the financial slump since October.
Labor officials claimed that some workers were able to return to their old jobs, but most of the displaced employees are still jobless.
DOLE and TUCP are mounting a month-long job fair to help the displaced workers, new graduates and other jobseekers to find immediate employment. –Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star