Multisectoral groups launch assembly of workers for wage increase in Quezon City

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Various groups gathered yesterday, April 21, in Barangay Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City for an assembly to discuss the plight of workers and call for higher wages. The assembly was headed by the Multisectoral Wage Alliance.

Among those who spoke were the IBON Foundation, Unity for Wage Increase (UWIN), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP), Bayan Muna Partylist and Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR). Those who attended the assembly were united in advancing the raising of wages to a living level, along with lowering the prices of goods and services. The experience of private and public sector workers was also discussed.

They insist it is more timely and reasonable to once again have a national minimum wage, as opposed to the current differential wage per region. It is unrealistic that the cost of living is cheaper in regions outside the National Capital Region, they said.

The assembly discussed the wide gap between the minimum wage in the NCR of ₱610, the highest minimum in the entire country, and that of the BARMM of ₱361. Both wages are far from the needed family living wage of ₱1,207 per day for a five-person family according to the Ibon Foundation study. The discussions also refuted the claim that capitalists would lose money if workers’ wages were raised.

The salary situation of government employees was also discussed. They condemned the unfair wage gap of uniformed personnel (soldiers, police, firefighters and coastguard) compared to those in the civilian bureaucracy which is further divided into national agencies and local government agencies. Due to the prevailing Salary Standardization Law V and Compensation and Position Classification System, wages remain cheap for employees.

At this meeting, the Multisectoral Wage Alliance affirmed their unity and promotion of continuous actions to achieve a living wage increase. The assembly is also part of the preparations for a massive labor protest on the upcoming International Labor Day on May 1.

AB: Multisectoral groups launch assembly of workers for wage increase in Quezon City