April 19, 2010
The labor party-list Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) denounced the employers’ opposition to the P75 wage hike in a hearing called today by the NCR wage board. PM members picketed the hearing at the Occupational Health and Safety Center in Quezon City at 1:00 pm today and called the employers’ arguments as “black propaganda and blackmail.”
Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson, stated that “A salary increase is again being rejected as inimical to the economy on grounds that it will lead to a spiral in prices, the bankruptcy of companies and a host of other horror stories.”
The hearing today is already the second in a series being called by the wage board in Metro Manila. In the first hearing last April 8 that was attended by the labor sector, PM expressed support for the P75 wage petition. In a position paper read at the hearing, Magtubo argued that “The threat of bankruptcies due to the wage increase is all lies. The truth is that capitalists just don’t want their profits decreased.”
The group revealed that the protest today is the start of mass actions in preparation for a massive motorcade on May 1. More than 500 motorcycles will take part in a “Sakbayan Para sa Dagdag Sahod at Trabahong Regular” to be led by riders clubs whose membership are overwhelmingly workers.
Magtubo insisted that “The employers are engaging in black propaganda and blackmail. Why should we be afraid of additional money circulating in the economy due to a wage hike when billions of dollars in remittances entering the country is always applauded?”
He added that “If the stronger purchasing power of OFW families is a positive factor in the economy then should not the same thing hold for more money in the hands of workers which we will use to buy the necessities of life? A wage hike will be good for the workers and will also be beneficial to the economy because it will spur the production of more goods and provision of more services.”