MANILA — Militant labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) on Thursday hit employers for resorting to layoff threats once a higher minimum wage is implemented.

“This is just the usual capitalist black propaganda and blackmail. Employers will not go bankrupt with a wage hike, but they will lose some of their profit,” PM national chairperson Renato Magtubo.

Earlier, the Employers' Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop) warned that at least 700,000 people will surely lose their jobs once the measure takes effect.

Based on their own computation, PM said the cost of living for a family of six in Metro Manila has reached P1,010 a day as of March this year.

They arrived at the figure using PM’s P984 April 2010 survey of the daily cost of living and the National Statistics Office’s 2.6 percent estimate of the inflation rate from April 2010 to March 2011 [1010 = 984 + (984 X 2.6 percent)].

Even if the wage board in the National Capital Region will grant the P75 wage hike petition filed by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), the group said this will not be enough to meet the rising cost of living.

The gap between the P404 minimum wage in the NCR and the cost of living is P606 or 150 percent of the ordinary wage.

PM said that even if two members work, their combined income will not be enough to feed the entire family. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)