Militant groups: No more wage board
THE dissolution of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) and the imposition of a nationwide minimum wage of P750 along with the call for complete abolition of end of contract or “endo” are among the pleas of militant groups in their Labor Day protest rally on Tuesday, which is Labor Day.
Jaime Paglinawan, chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in Central Visayas, said that since the institution of the RTWPB in 1989, there has been unfair imposition of wages in regions causing workers in provinces to have lesser income and unfavorable economic status.
In Central Visayas, the wage standards of agricultural and non-agricultural workers are divided into four classes based on location: Expanded Metro Cebu (Class A), the rest of Cebu province excluding Bantayan and Camotes Islands (Class B), Bohol and Negros Oriental provinces (Class C), and Siquijor province with Bantayan and Camotes Islands (Class D).
Under the current RTWPB matrix, workers in non-agricultural industries under Class A areas has a minimum wage of P366, P333 for Class B, P323 for Class C and P308 for class D.
Paglinawan said that these amounts are not sufficient to fulfill the needs of a family.
Paglinawan said that agricultural workers, those who work in sugarcane plantations and milling, are given less appreciation as they receive the lowest daily minimum wage standard at P288 to P348.
Under the Wage Rationalization Act, the factors considered for fixing the minimum wage in a certain area include cost of living in the area, consumer price index, effects on employment generation, fair return of capital invested and the capacity to pay of employers among others.
On the other hand, the militant groups also expressed their opposition against the proposed four-day work week.
Paglinawan said that imposing the four-day work week would defeat the very cause of the May 1 movement over a century ago.
“The workers will become slaves inside the factories and their salaries remain small. They have longer rest days but they will still have to comply with the 48-hour weekly requirement,” said Paglinawan in Cebuano.
He said that the workers would need work to sustain their families’ needs more than they would need leisure time and rest days.
Meanwhile, upon learning that President Duterte has signed the EO prohibiting the illegal contracting and subcontracting of workers, Paglinawan said that they will still review the content of the EO to find out if it satisfies the promise of the President during his campaign that he will push for the end of all forms of contractual employment. /With CNU Intern Alexandra Mae Bustamante
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