Baguio workers urges wage equality

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Thursday, May 1, 2014


MILITANT groups allied with Kilusang Mayo Uno conducted a rally in Baguio City Thursday calling for an increase in wages and removal of anti-labor policies such as contractual schemes.

Allied groups of KMU-Cordillera marched from Session Road to Magsaysay Avenue and eventually ended at the Igorot Park where a short program and rally was conducted in time for the Labor Day celebrations.

Kilusang Mayo Uno-Cordillera spokesperson Vicente Dilem said they are decrying the non-implementation of an across the board minimum wage in the region which is unfair to most residents of far-flung towns in the region.

Wage Order No. 16 of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board orders only a P280 per day minimum wage implemented only in Baguio city, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan and Tuba or Metro-Baguio for those with employees 11 and above while those with less than 10 employees only receive P263 per day for the non-agriculture sector while other Cordillera provinces only receive less than the agreed minimum wage.

Those in the agriculture, retail and service sector with 10 workers and below receive less with a minimum wage of P268 in the Metro-Baguio area while those from other areas in the Cordillera only have a P247 minimum wage.

The militant group also complained on the two-tiered system which only promotes inequality as only a few companies adhere to providing productivity based incentives for their employees.

This wage order according to Dilem should be fair to all workers in the region and not only benefit those living in Metro-Baguio.

He also sought for the region’s workers support in the proposed P125 across the board increase to be felt by the working class.

The KMU spokesperson also lambasted large firms and multinational corporations implementing a contractual scheme that for them is a union-busting activity which discourages the labor sector to demand just and right wages as well as other benefits.

The group also said also among the most affected of these schemes include government workers implementing contractualization and hiring through job order basis which for them has been unfair as most of these government employees do not have security of tenure in their jobs.

He further added the government should be the model of providing good, safe and stable working condition for workers rather than being the promoters of the contractual and job order scheme.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 02, 2014.

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