Sunio: Desperation, deprivation

A POOR man works like a dog for more than ten hours a day under the most dangerous working conditions. At the end of the day, he is only handed a measly wage after all of his hard and honest work.

Good men like them have always been preys to this kind of system of employment.

But what privilege do they have to decline such tough conditions – especially when the pocket is empty, and so are their families’ stomachs?

Other and better work opportunities are also very much out of reach.

Whether its collecting garbage, climbing for electric wires, going through dark, narrow tunnels, or working with shaky debris over their heads, millions of laborers have no choice but to bear with the difficult work settings with the hopes of bringing even a small amount of food back to their homes; to at least survive through the day.

Day by day, they work on a tightrope between danger and poverty.

What’s sadder is the employers taking advantage of these desperations to deprive workers of their due rights and wages.

These abuses include high salary deductions, delayed release of their meager salaries, and impossibility of tenures and other employment benefits, among others.

Some employers, to keep their profits up, also refuse to install or provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees or comply with minimum standards for safety.

The United Nations Development Programme, in the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, stated that the number of “workers living in extreme poverty has declined dramatically, despite the lasting impact of the 2008 economic crisis and global recession.”

However, it also states that “as the global economy continues to recover, we are seeing slower growth, widening inequalities, and not enough jobs to keep up with a growing labor force.”

Furthermore, according to their figures, there were around 300 million workers in extreme poverty in 2017 who are living on less than US$1.90 per day.

After working close to death and danger, in the end, only the rich mostly benefitted from all of it.


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SunStar Publishing Inc.