Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rejection of legislated wage hike exposes “Noy-ngaling”—labor party

Press Release
March 21, 2012

The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) slammed Malacanang’s rejection of the legislated wage hike bill about to be passed by the House Labor Committee as exposing the disconnect between President Benigno Aquino III’s words and deeds. “Just last Friday night PNoy declared in front of employers that workers welfare is paramount but now his administration has thumbed down the wage hike proposal with the usual capitalist blackmail. PNoy is a Noy-ngaling,” declared Renato Magtubo, PM national chair.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte spoke yesterday on behalf of President Aquino that the legislated P125 across-the-board wage increase will lead to layoffs of workers.

“Such horror stories are just black propaganda at 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? 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,” Magtubo explained.

He added that “Why is it that the prices of the goods and services bought by workers are not tempered by the capacity to pay of the consumers? The answer is that prices take into account the cost of production with a margin included for the profit of capitalists. If that is how prices are fixed in this society called capitalism, then the price of the only thing sold by workers—their labor power—should also be computed in the same way. Meaning, it must be based on the cost of production of labor power. And this is precisely the cost of living of workers and their families.”

PM announced that the May Day campaign will start early in time for the Holy Week break. The group will lead a “Kalbaryo ng Manggagawa at Maralita” on the first week of April that will highlight the issues of low wages, high prices, mass unemployment, contractual jobs and urban poor demolitions.

“The Kalbaryo is part of the May Day campaign for labor justice. Workers demand reforms beyond the prosecution of Gloria and the impeachment of Corona. The graft ridden National Labor Relations Commission, the Department of Labor and Employment and the National Mediation and Conciliation Board must be cleansed. The policies of liberalization, deregulation and privatization that have led to thousands of closures and layoffs, and collapse of industry and agriculture must be rolled back,” Magtubo insisted.

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