Another group to seek wage hike

By: Jhunnex Napallacan April 20,2016 - 10:55 PM

AFTER the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) asked for a P161 across-the-board daily wage increase for workers in Central Visayas, another labor group plans to file a separate wage hike petition before the regional wage board next week.

Dennis Derige, spokesman of the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), said they would push for a legislated wage hike at the same time because the adjustments granted by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in the past have not been enough.

“Kombatihonon pa gyod ni ug maayo didto sa wage board (This would be a real struggle in the wage board),” he said.

He said he would meet with leaders of affiliate groups on Saturday to finalize the amount, which would be more than P100. Expected to send representatives to the meeting are the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Cebu Labor Coalition and Cebu Living Wage Coalition.

TUCP, which is considered as the biggest confederation of workers in the country,  yesterday filed a wage hike petition before the wage board.

In a statement, TUCP Partylist Rep. Raymond Mendoza said they were not seeking an increase, but the recovery of the workers’ purchasing power.

“With the purchasing power of current wage level continues to fall, we are not asking for a wage increase. We rather petitioned the wage board today, asking them to restore the salary of workers to its real value so that they remain close to the poverty threshold and save some of them from the verge of falling into the cracks down to extreme poverty,” he said in a statement.

The TUCP petition has been listed on the agenda for the wage board’s regular monthly meeting on Thursday next week, said Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE 7) regional director and RTWPB 7 chairman Exequiel Sarcauga.

The last wage order was issued in October 2015. Under the law, the wage board can entertain a new petition for wage hike one year after the last wage order, except when there are supervening events like the oil price hike, increase in the prices of basic goods and other economic factors.

Gordon Alan Joseph, president of the Cebu Business Club (CBC), said any wage increase must have a corresponding productivity increase.

“I have always said that salary increases with no corresponding productivity increase will just result in an increase in prices of goods and commodities. It may also deter labor-intensive investments,” he said in an online interview.

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