TUCP: Compressed work week will hit daily-paid workers

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) expressed apprehension over proposals to implement a compressed work week in the private sector citing its effects on workers incomes particularly for those employed under no-work-no-pay work arrangements.

“ We are concerned that a compressed work-week (CWW) will drastically affect daily-paid workers, contractual, and casual workers who are in the “no-work-no-pay” status that constitutes a large segment of the employed work force”, TUCP said in its statement.

“ While it may be acceptable to monthly-paid workers who receive salaries on a 48 hours work per week arrangement, this will be detrimental to non-regular workers”, TUCP said.

“ We should not rush into implementing the CWW in the private sector without considering its long term effects on workers in terms of lost incomes, legal issues, and its effects on productivity”. TUCP added.

“ TUCP will oppose the proposal if it will result in any diminution in wages and benefits”, TUCP said in its official statement.

The TUCP is the largest labor organization in the country with 27 affiliated labor federations.

TUCP issued the statement after the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) expressed willingness to adopt a similar scheme implemented for government workers.

TUCP added that the proposal to cut the work week to four from five will result in foregone earning opportunities for workers since overtime work would be minimal. TUCP cites that there are collective bargaining agreements (CBA) that provide for 50% to 100% overtime pay for work rendered beyond the regular eight hours.

TUCP also cited provisions in the Labor Code that only allows eight hours of work per day. Any work rendered beyond that is considered as overtime pay. This may result in a slew of labor cases, TUCP warned.

TUCP also expressed apprehension over the effects of extended working hours given the general working conditions in the country. “To say the least, factories and work sites with favorable working conditions are largely outnumbered by those that violate standards, and these may have serious effects on the productivity of workers required to work beyond the regular eight hours a day”, TUCP said.

TUCP said under the proposal workers in the private sector would be required to work for at least two more hours. Workplaces would have to compensate for the additional work hours in terms of time for breaks, sanitary and recreational facilities, stress prevention programs, and food.

TUCP also added that transportation may need to be provided since most workers will have to report to work earlier and leave late in the night. TUCP also said that it would take some time to acclimatize workers to extended working hours.

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