Published: June 19, 2012
“Napakaliit na nga, inaapela pa (It’s already too meager, yet 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 the greediness of the country’s big capitalists.
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.”
“The big capitalists of ECOP are again showing how greedy they are by protecting their huge profits from a very small increase in workers’ minimum wages,” 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 been steadily increasing, with the P116.4 Billion in 2001 jumping to P804.1 Billion in 2010.
“The country’s big capitalists are also showing just how socially irresponsible they are,” 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 the P125 Wage Hike Bill filed by Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Rafael Mariano seeking to legislate a P125 across-the-board wage hike.