TUCP urges government to protect workers from oil shock

Worried over the possible ill-effects of an oil shock the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) today called on the Government to institute measures to protect workers and their families from the skyrocketing crude prices in the world market.

TUCP made the appeal after oil prices reached $60 a barrel. International financial institutions warned that the Philippine economy will suffer heavily from the increases.

TUCP is alarmed over the possibility that the price hikes will usher unemployment and a regime of high prices of goods and services.

TUCP also noted that the peso has slid back to P55 to a dollar and is likely to fall even lower given the political turbulence in the country.

“These twin issues bode ill for workers. We anticipate employers to cut-down or at least slow down their operations which may eventually result to massive lay-offs”, TUCP said.

“Government should work with business and labor to draw up contingency plans and prevent a repeat of what happened during the Gulf War in the early 90’s”, TUCP added.

TUCP recalled that during the invasion of Iraq of Kuwait oil prices went up so much so that it created a world-wide oil shock which held back many economies around the world. Thousands of workers in the Philippines were rendered jobless.

“For an oil-import dependent country like the Philippines an oil shock will definitely bring more trouble not only in terms of employment but also in costs of living”, TUCP said.

TUCP strongly urged government to closely monitor prices of basic commodities to prevent run-away inflation.

“This early unscrupulous traders are already gearing to raise prices of goods to cash in on the spikes in oil prices. They should be stopped”, warned the TUCP.

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