Kilusang Mayo Uno National Capital Region (KMU NCR) echoed for P150 wage increase across all board as immediate relief for workers suffering from soaring prices of commodities due to inflation. Additionally, they said that the current P570 minimum wage is not sufficient to the daily living cost of an individual or a family.
‘Sahod Itaas! Presyo Ibaba!’ remained a resounding call among labor groups alongside multi-sectoral organizations to commemorate the 137th international workers’ day.
Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) church in Manila and Welcome Rotonda Circle in Quezon City were the main protest assemblies amassed by thousands of workers, farmers, youth, women among various sectors campaigning for socio-economic rights and welfare.
The bulk of protesters took the streets garbed in their feisty red-colored shirts, placards, and creative couture to represent militancy while traversing their way to Mendiola.
The historic global commemoration for workers is ever significant especially for Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), a labor organization advancing genuine, militant, and patriotic unionism which also commemorates its 43rd year.
While workers reiterated that such P150 wage increase is indeed low to acquire liveable and just wage, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan National Capital Region (BAYAN NCR) sees it even as a bare minimum that workers put up to struggle just because of the negligence under Marcos Jr. administration to provide fair, adequate wages and decent working conditions.
In fact, various labor groups have long called for a P750 national minimum wage.
Currently, eight petitions have been filed before the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards to raise the minimum wage. Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri also has a senate version implying for a “decent life costs a decent wage” iIn his filed Senate Bill No. 2002 or the proposed Across-the-Board Wage Increase Act of 2023.
BAYAN NCR seconded a study from research think-tank IBON foundation that said the country’s minimum wages are ‘family poverty wages’ with P1,161 cost of family living wage seen only as an immediate relief.
On the other hand, KMU NCR called for the abolition of Wage Rationalization Act, Herrera Law among the existing anti-worker policies in the country.
BAYAN NCR added that the Marcos Jr. administration has instead prioritized its subservience to the United States (US), noting the additional Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement sites in the country among other unequal treaties and policies.
The Philippines and United States recently concluded its joint military drill or Balikatan exercises on April 28.