Thursday July 19, 2018

Labor groups hold rally vs. 4-day work week

CAUSE-ORIENTED groups yesterday joined the nationwide protest to oppose House Bill 6152, which pushes for a four-day compressed work week.

Piston, AMA Sugbo-KMU, BPO Industry Employees Network (BIEN) Cebu, Gabriela Cebu, Anak-Pawis and Alsa Kontraktwal gathered outside the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) office for the rally.

The bill is awaiting approval by Upper House, which is still considering Senate Bill 1551.

Jaime Paglinawan, chairman of AMA Sugbo KMU and Bayan Central Visayas, said the compressed work week is anti-worker.

“Shifting in companies would be disrupted since people would be working for 12 hours, which would cause some people to lose their jobs. Aside from that, workers would get less pay because they only work for four days,” Paglinawan said.

Bibi Alieri, from Gabriela and Urban Poor Women’s League, said that the four-day work week would affect working mothers.

“If a single mom started working 12 hours, they would have to leave in the morning and come back late at night. The kids would be asleep both times. So this leaves no time for family. I experienced this personally when I worked as a housekeeper for a hotel. My body couldn’t handle it,” Alieri said.

Ferdinand Lascia, from BIEN Cebu, said that that the four-day-work week would push the call center agents to their limits until they resign.

“Our health would really be affected. It’s actually a violation of occupational safety and health standards. As call center agents, we need to remain enthusiastic since we deal with negative people on a day-to-day basis. We are the absorbers of negativity. So it would be hard to do that for 12 hours,” she said.

After the rally, Paglinawan and other rally organizers spoke with DOLE 7 Assistant Regional Director Lillia Estillore in her office to schedule a consultation regarding the four-day work week.

“We will study how the four-day work week works in other countries and how they benefit from it so we can have that here and so that it won’t be exploited. The best interest of the government is to earn more money, not just the workers, not just the companies” Estillore said.

A consultation between DOLE and the labor groups will be on Oct. 25. (USJ-R Intern Cherizar Maxine Magat)