March 10, 2010
The labor party-list Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) slammed the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for its declaration that no wage hike is forthcoming on Labor Day. Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson argued that “The cat is out of the bag with the DOLE spokesperson’s statement on the wage hike petition. Not only did he explain that the hearings will still be ongoing by May 1 but he already pre-empted the wage boards of NCR and Central Visayas with the capitalist black propaganda that a wage increase will result in job losses.”
Meanwhile the PM-led mass actions calling for a wage hike will continue with a Calabarzon-wide motorcade on Sunday. The motorcade will start at the Cavite Economic Zone in Rosario town and then go to the industrial areas of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna and Batangas. Motorcycle-riding workers will be at the forefront of the hundred-vehicle motorcade. “We will bring the message of a wage hike and the reform of the wage fixing system to the industrial heartland of the country where the concentration of the factory workers can now be found,” stated Magtubo.
In a rally at the DOLE last March 8, PM declared its support for the demand for a wage hike while calling for a reform of the wage fixing process. “A P75 wage hike is reasonable and not excessive but nonetheless our fearless forecast is that it will be denied by the NCR wage board. That is why we are batting for the abolition of the wage boards and the establishment of a National Wage Commission instead,” Magtubo added.
"The wage boards must be abolished for being inutile. Its wage orders are always delayed, stingy and benefits merely a small section of workers because it is not across-the-board and riddled with exemptions, deferments and creditability clauses," declared Magtubo. The group insists that the wage hike must be legislated and across-the-board.
“Any wage petition will not prosper unless President Gloria Arroyo supports it. That unfortunately is the problem with the tripartite regional wage board. If Malacanang does not give the go signal for a wage hike, the wage petition will be stymied at the wage board,” Magtubo explained.
PM is pushing for the abolition of the wage boards that decide on wage hike for the different regions. Instead the party-list group wants a National Wage Commission to be formed with the mandate to set a national minimum wage based solely on the cost of living.