Southern Tagalog workers protest for wages and livelihood in Laguna
Southern Tagalog workers, led by Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo Uno (Pamantik-KMU), staged a caravan and protest before various government labor agencies on February 5 in Laguna.
The group says these kicks off their campaign in line with Labor Day commemorations on May 1. They called for significant wage increases, job security, and the right to unionize.
They protested before the offices of the Department of Labor and Employment, Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPB) and the National Labor Relations Commission in Laguna. They denounced the RTWPB for the meager wage increase last year (₱35-₱50). The workers point out how insufficient these increases are because the prices of basic commodities, especially rice, continue to rise.
The daily living wage in Region IV-A is estimated at ₱1,112 according to the Ibon Foundation. This is far from the current ₱435.00 to ₱520.00 daily minimun wage.
Workers also denounced the Marcos regime for ignoring their call and instead prioritizing the promotion of charter change which will harm the country and the working masses. “What the people need is not Marcos’ burdensome charter change but free education, land for farmers, free housing and livable wages, job security,” according to Pamantik-KMU.