No more than P30 pay hike seen

Published by rudy Date posted on May 7, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – Workers in Metro Manila will probably get no more than P30 increase in their daily take home pay.

German Pacua, member of Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in Metro Manila, said workers are unlikely to get the P75 across-the-board increase they are demanding despite the continuing increase in prices of commodities.

“Based on records, workers have not gotten our full demand for salary increase and the highest granted by the board so far was only P30 and that was even given in two tranches,” Pascua disclosed.

“That is why personally, and as representative of workers in the board, I would already be willing to accept in our deliberation on Monday a P45 wage hike,” he added.

Pascua said the seven members of the wage board are hoping to come out with a new wage order soon, after they started deliberations on the amount of wage increase on Monday.

“We hope to come out with a sensible decision on Monday, but if the employers would insist on their P13 position I think the deliberation would take longer than expected,” he said.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), however, said their demand for pay increase is non-negotiable and that they would not accept anything lower than their previous demand of P75 across-the-board increase.

“Anything lower than P75 is unacceptable, but we are willing to talk and negotiate with employers on how they would be able to provide the financial relief we are seeking,” TUCP deputy spokesman Raffy Mapalo said.

According to labor leaders, the proposal of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) to provide workers with P13 emergency cost of living allowance (ECOLA) was an insult to employees.

Mapalo said the amount they are seeking was meant to enable workers to cope with the 4.4 percent inflation rate from March till the end of the year.

“Based on our computation we need at least P16 to restore the purchasing power we have lost as of March because of inflation and until the trend in prices of commodities is still rising,” he said.

Contrary to the employers’ claim that salary hike would be inflationary, TUCP officials said workers are only seeking to restore their lost purchasing power.

“It’s not inflationary and it would not even cause the closure of companies because salaries of workers only account for 15 percent of the operational cost,” Mapalo pointed out, stressing that salary increase would not only benefit workers, but also their families as well as the commercial establishments selling products they need. –Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star)

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