Union in Manila holds picket for living wages

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Members of the Pambato Cargo Forwarder Labor Union (PCFLU-LAND-KMU) staged a picket-protest at Blumentritt in Manila on April 27 to announce their and fellow workers’ fight for a living wage. The union says the government should respond to the workers’ call for a living wage instead of spending public funds on pushing for charter change (chacha). The picket is also in preparation for marking International Labor Day, May 1.

PCFLU says they are pushing for a wage increase at their company level and at the national level. According to the Mayday Multimedia interview with Ka Jun, vice president of the union, they are scheduled to enter into negotiations for the last two years of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of the union and management. He said wage increase also the union’s main demand in the CBA.

In the National Capital Region, the minimum daily wage for regular workers is pegged at ₱610 (the highest in the country). This amount is a far cry from the ₱1,197 living wage for a family of five in the last estimate in March. In addition to this, the 3.3% inflation rate eroded the real value of workers’ wages during the same period.

Apart from the wage increase, the union also demanded the regularization of all workers in their company for further protection and advancement of their interest. They are also demanding that proper separation pay be given to workers who lost their jobs when one of the shops closed.

The union’s leader shared that members and fellow workers in the company are ready to participate in mass action on May 1. “Not only us regulars and union members will go, the contract workers and our families will also join,” he said.

The PCFLU union was established in 1986. It is under the Labor Alliance for National Development (LAND) federation affiliated with the Kilusang Mayo Uno.

Pambato Cargo Forwarder, Inc is in the forwarding and cargo shipping industry. It was established in 1979 and currently has four major centers in Luzon and more than 15 branches in the Visayas and Mindanao. The company’s workforce is estimated to be over 800.

AB: Union in Manila holds picket for living wages