Organized workers ask for wage increase, better job security

Published by rudy Date posted on May 2, 2011

AN estimated 5,000 workers from different organizations joined a Labor Day rally in Cebu City and asked government agencies to help them gain a decent living wage.

For starters, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) should monitor prices of basic goods and consider these in discussing wage increase proposals at the regional wage board, said the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP).

Post your prayers and condolences for Cebu Vice Governor Greg Sanchez’s family.

ALU-TUCP accounted for some 3,000 of the rallyists, while 12 other labor organizations under the Kahugpongan sa Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Sugbo (Kanamaso) provided about 2,000.

They marched from the Mariners’ Court near Plaza Independencia to the intersection of Colon St. and Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City where union leaders took turns speaking about how workers are suffering from low wages.

ALU-TUCP asked last April for a P100 across-the-board increase in Central Visayas.

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) 7, under the law, has to act on the ALU-TUCP petition before May 5.

Meanwhile, Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon raised the need to recognize the rights of subcontracted workers, particularly those in the private sector, and to protect them from “insecure working conditions.”

Dizon said he is supporting the immediate passage of House Bill 303 or the Security of Tenure Act, which proposes tighter rules on subcontracting.

“The current trend of contractualization and de-regularization threatens the workers’ right to security of tenure,” Dizon said in a statement.

The practice violates the Constitution, which says “the State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all,” he said.

For Labor Day, President Benigno Aquino III announced a rice subsidy of P4.3 billion and one million job openings in infrastructure projects, as well as in a special program for students.


But he left it to the regional wage boards to decide on an increase, if any.

In Central Visayas, ALU-TUCP spokesperson Josefina Lim said that President Aquino has yet to appoint a labor sector representative to replace Atty. Jose Boquecosa in the wage board.

Another group, AMA-Sugbo-KMU, separately filed a petition for a P125 legislated across-the-board increase. It is still at the congressional committee level.

Labor Day also coincided with the feast of St. Joseph the Worker and the beatification of Pope John Paul II.

Contrary to what was expected, there were no laborers who brought their work materials and equipment to be blessed during the 2 p.m. mass in Sto. Rosario Parish.

Rev. Fr. Adonis Aquino encouraged workers to bring their work tools to be blessed. But those who went to the altar were women who carried rosaries.

In his sermon, Fr. Aquino recognized the effort that laborers exert for their employers, and said that workplaces should preserve the dignity of workers. (UP Mass Comm Intern Mia M. Ali Faridoon)

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