Labor group continues to call for increase in wages, benefits

CALLS for increased minimum wage for workers in Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao continue as the Association of Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) in Northern Mindanao plans to copy the P710 across-the-board daily wage hike petition for workers in Metro Manila.

Nick Borja, ALU-TUCP regional operations director, said the minimum wage in Cagayan de Oro is currently at P365 but it is even lower in neighboring areas.

Borja said workers deserve a pay hike amid the consistent spike of the prices of basic commodities in Cagayan de Oro.

Despite the P27 salary increase implemented in November 2018, workers say this is still not enough with the high prices of fuel, electricity, water, including tuition for their children who studied college.

"Dako gyud ang P710 pero wala may daotan ana, kay ideliberate pa siya, pero deserve nato mga mamumuo nga mo-demand sa atong katungod," he said.

(The P710 is big enough, but there's no harm in that because it is still to be deliberated. But we in the labor unions deserve that, as we demand for our rights.)

The TUCP, the country’s largest labor organization, filed a petition on Monday, April 29, before the National Capital Region (NCR) wage board seeking the minimum wage to be raised from P537 to P1,247.

In its petition, the group said the existing minimum wage of P537 “sorely meets basic human needs for food, water, clothing, education, transport, health, housing, toiletries and electricity.”

The labor group also lamented the continuous practice of contractualization in private companies.

"Wala gyud ma-address, dunay voluntary agreement sa labor ug company, but dili nagpasabot nga naundang, padayon gihapon kini nga practice," Borja said.

(It was not addressed, there were voluntary agreements between the department of labor and companies, but it doesn't mean it stopped. The practice continues.)

Aside from the lack of job opportunities, Borja said the government should also look at the problem of underemployment.

Borja said the country still has a long way to go, pointing out that a lot can still be achieved if the labor force will continue to unite to demand for their rights.


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