Published: July 31, 2012
“Napakaliit na nga, inaapela pa(It’s already too meager, yet it’s still being appealed).”
This was labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s reaction to the Employers Confederation of the Philippines’ appeal against the P30 Cost of Living Allowance granted to Metro Manila workers, saying the move highlights how greedy and socially irresponsible the country’s big capitalists are.
In its appeal before the National Wages and Productivity Commission, ECOP called the granting of the COLA “confiscatory for employers,” “excessively unjustified,” and “not economically feasible,” claiming that the NCR wage board failed to factor in the consumers price index, capitalists’ capacity to pay, and the impact of the wage hike on job generation.
“The big capitalists who calls the shots in ECOP are again showing how greedy and socially irresponsible they really are. They show no care at all that workers’ families are already suffering from hunger and poverty,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“Big capitalists’ profits have steadily increased over the years while the real value of workers’ wages have continuously fallen,” he said.
“Research shows that capitalists can afford to grant a P125 across-the-board wage increase nationwide – not only meager COLAs,” he added.
KMU cited a March 2012 study of independent think-tank Ibon Foundation showing that a P125 across-the-board wage increase will only amount to a 12 per cent reduction in capitalists’ profits.
The said research also states that the net income of the country’s Top 1,000 corporations have steadily increased from P116.4 Billion in 2001 to P804.1 Billion in 2010.
“They are using the classic tactic of using the threat of massive layoffs in order to to force workers to accept meager wages. Capitalists can increase wages without implementing massive layoffs and workers aren’t asking for too much in saying that having a job is not enough,” Labog said.
“They have been violating social justice by amassing great wealth and living the life while they give workers pitiful sums for wages and make the latter suffer from worsening hunger and poverty,” Labog said.
KMU reiterated its call for the House of Representatives and the Senate to immediately approve House Bill 375 or the P125 Wage Hike Bill filed by Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Rafael Mariano seeking to legislate a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide.