Published: September 1, 2012
“A money-making scheme at the expense of workers.”
This was how labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno described Banco de Oro’s imposition of a P2.00 withdrawal fee on its Cash Card users, saying the charge, which is on its first day of implementation today, will be an added burden for workers who get their wages via ATM.
Cash Card, described as “a re-loadable prepaid electronic debit card” in BDO’s website, does not require a maintaining balance and is used by many employers as a means to release workers’ wages.
“This is certainly bad news for workers who get their wages via BDO. Their hard-earned and meager wages will be reduced just because BDO wants to increase its profits,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
BDO is owned by business tycoon and No. 1 billionaire Henry Sy, who also owns the SM chain of malls.
“There seems to be no limit to Henry Sy’s greed. He has kept his workforce contractual through many years, he cut trees in Baguio, and is now extorting money from workers through ATM,” he added.
“Sy’s profit-boosting schemes have become more brazen because of Pres. Aquino’s support for big businesses at the expense of workers. Aquino refuses to implement a significant wage hike and allows capitalists to cut workers’ wages through various money-making schemes,” he said.
Estimates place the number of payroll workers getting their salaries through BDO Cash Card at 6 million.
If workers withdraw wages for twice a month, BDO will earn P24 million every month with this scheme (6 million x P2.00 x 2 times a month).
The computation leaves out workers who get their wages four times a month and double swipes of ATM cards due to ATM’s malfunctioning.
“It’s the employers, not the workers, who chose to release workers’ wages through ATM. Now, workers’ wages will be reduced while capitalists continue to earn interests through this scheme,” Labog said.
“We call on the public to continue calling for the scrapping of BDO’s P2.00 withdrawal fee money-making scheme. We shall continue to oppose this scheme until it is completely junked,” he added.