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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Labor groupbats for P100 wage hike to meet poverty

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The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) is seeking a P100-across the board wage hike to address what they called rising incidence of hunger and poverty as indicated by the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey.

LYING DOWN PROTEST. Members of militant groups stage a lying down protest to decry alleged worsening poverty and inequality amid faulty economic policies of the government that triggered inflation marked by soaring prices of basic commodities. Manny Palmero

“A legislated P100 nationwide across-the-board wage hike is a key component of a set of solutions to worsening hunger and poverty in our country. Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan,” PM chairman Rene Magtubo said.

Magtubo said the only roadblock to a salary increase is employer resistance and government insensitivity.

“Their argument that wage hikes only benefit formal workers to the detriment of informal workers who are the vast majority is fake news. Research by the ILO and others find that minimum wage hikes have negligible effect on unemployment and instead have a lighthouse effect. Meaning, minimum wage hikes increase the wages even of the informally employed since it becomes socially unacceptable to pay lower salaries,” he explained.

The labor group made the statement on the heels of the latest SWS survey that showed hunger incidence in December 2022 rose to 11.8 percent which is equivalent to three million families, up from 11.3 percent in October 2022, or 2.89 million families experiencing involuntary hunger.

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The same SWS survey also showed that poverty incidence climbed to 51 percent from 49% percent, translating to 12.9 million families rating themselves as poor, an increase of 300,000 families from October to December 2022.

“It is definitely not rocket science to understand that increasing household incomes by raising the wages of family breadwinners will mitigate hunger and poverty. Wage hikes together with ayuda and forms of social protection like universal pensions and employment guarantees will radically decrease hunger and poverty in the face of a cost of living crisis expressed by runaway prices of onions, eggs and other essential necessities,” Magtubo said.

In early December, a P100-wage increase for “wage recovery” petition was filed by the Kapatiran ng mga Unyon at Samahang Manggagawa and PM before the National Capital Region Wage Board. No action has been taken on that petition.

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