Employers’ group cautions against wage increase

Published by rudy Date posted on April 15, 2011

THE Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) called on organized labor to go slow on its clamor for a new round of wage increases amid pronouncements of a “supervening condition.”

“Disturbing wage levels at this time may not be a prudent move considering that fuel prices remain volatile in the world market. With such situation, a wage adjustment would trigger spiraling production costs and prices of commodities,” Edgardo Lacson, ECOP president, said in a statement.

He said wages and inflation would chase each other with workers at the losing end.

Lacson said employer representatives to the regional tripartite wages and productivity boards earlier questioned the sudden decision to change the criteria on determining whether or not a “supervening condition” exists to pave the way for a pay hike prior to the lapse of the one-year period since the last wage order was promulgated.

The ECOP chief said majority of the working class failed to benefit from wage hikes, especially those in the so-called underground economy or informal sector.

Those who stand to benefit from any wage adjustment are the 2.2 million in the formal sector whose take home pay increases every time wage levels are adjusted, he said.

“The rest, such as the self-employed or own account workers, family-paid workers such as drivers and househelpers, homeworkers never benefit from mandated wage increases,” he said.

Instead of a wage hike, ECOP called for collective bargaining at the enterprise level so workers can freely negotiate with employers who are willing to give relief to their workers without sacrificing enterprise viability. –Manila Times

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