Labor group says wage hike not enough as many workers still need sidelines
MANILA – A labor group on Monday said despite the recent wage hike, workers' earnings are still not enough as many still need to take an extra job to make ends meet.
Kilusang Mayo Uno Secretary-General Jerome Adonis told TeleRadyo that many workers are risking their health by taking on extra work.
“Ngayon yung mga kababayan natin, minimum wage earner, lalong-lalo na, nao-obliga na sila na pagkatapos ng 8 oras na trabaho o higit pa sa kanilang regular na pinapasukan, naoobliga sila mag-sideline na mga delivery, nagtitinda-tinda, so, ano yung nasasakripisyo sa ganoon? Ang nasasakripisyo yung oras ng kanilang pahinga, at nasasakripisyo yung oras nila sa pamilya,” he said.
(Our minimum wager earner countrymen have to take in other jobs like selling or working as delivery riders after their 8-hour jobs. What are they sacrificing? They are sacrificing their rest, and their time with their families.)
“Pero sooner or later magkakaroon ka ng mga additional na karamdaman or sakit kasi nga, abused yung katawan mo sa sobrang oras ng trabaho,” the labor leader said.
(Sooner or later they will get ill because their bodies have been abused through overwork.)
Adonis said a worker’s pay from his 8-hour job should be enough to sustain himself and his family.
Former senatorial candidate Sonny Matula said wage hikes are needed in order to increase the purchasing power of workers.
“Una naming pino-propose diyan yung pambansang minimum wage, kasi sa kasalukuyan talaga ay hindi pantay at marami na talaga ang naiiwan na mga manggagawa lalong-lalo na sa probinsya at lalong-lalo na nasa agrikultura.”
(Our first proposal is the establishment of a national minimum wage because as of now wages are not equal. Some workers are paid low if they are in the provinces or working in the agriculture sector.)
The labor leader also noted that government must pump-prime the economy to help small businesses.
“Kami sa Federation of Free Workers at sa Nagkaisa Labor Coalition, noon pa mang kampanya ay amin nang pino-propose yung P100 billion na stimulus package para matulungan yung mga maliliit na negosyo natin, yung mga micro small enterprises natin na makabangon, at ang gobyerno palagay ko ay ang pag-asa nila na makapagbibigay ng ayuda para sa kanila, yung zero interest loans o subsidy na diretso,” he said.
(We at the Federation of Free Workers and Nagkaisa Labor Coalition have been proposing, since the campaign period, a P100 billion stimulus package to help micro and small enterprises recover from the pandemic, and I think these businesses are hoping the government can give them aid like zero interest loans or direct subisidies.)
The government earlier this month approved a P33 wage hike for minimum-wage earners in Metro Manila.
Regional wage boards in Western Visayas, Cagayan Valley, Mimaropa, Soccsksargen and Bicol followed suit with similar wage hikes.
Employees, however, have said that the pay hike is not enough.
--TeleRadyo, 30 May 2022