Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Labor party calls for shorter not compressed workweek

Photo from Philippine Star

The Partido Manggagawa (PM) today declared its opposition to the proposed bill on compressed workweek as it called the proposal a “scheme to overwork and underpay workers.” Instead, PM is calling for legislating a shorter work day.

Members of PM joined the labor group Sentro in a picket at the Senate this morning to coincide with a hearing on proposed bill. The bill providing for a compressed workweek passed the House of Representatives on third and final reading last August 24.

“Legislating the compressed workweek will lead to the derogation if not destruction of the historic eight-hour work day. Instead of lengthening the working day, it should be shortened without lost of pay for workers. The compressed workweek will lead to health and safety issues while shortening the working day will vastly improve work-life balance,” insisted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

Also being heard today at the Senate are proposals for 15 minute breaks and service charge in the hotel industry. Members of PM ans Sentro chanted “Workers need a break, We are not robots,” “No to compressed work, Yes to 8-hour law,” “Compressed workweek is hazardous to our health.”

Magtubo added that “Imagine workers laboring for 12 hours a day without overtime and travelling hours more through traffic. This is a recipe for killing workers through overwork and stress.”

He added that “Millions of workers already work 12 hours day because they avail of overtime as a way of augmenting their meager daily wages which are not enough to sustain their families. The compressed workweek will legalize this epidemic of overwork but worsen it by taking away overtime pay. The compressed workweek is a ploy to cheapen salaries, similar to the regionalization of wages.”

“In the exceptional cases where workers find that flexible work arrangements like flexi-time or compressed workweek is advantageous to them, there are already rules that allow for that on the condition that workers are consulted and agree to it. These must remain exceptions to the rule and the norm should be that the workday is eight hours and work beyond must be paid overtime,” Magtubo elaborated.

September 13, 2017

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