Labor leader and presidential aspirant Leody De Guzman has laid down a proposal to shorten work hours from 8 to 6 hours a day without reducing pay, and that shortening the working day is a fight that should continue.
This came a day after he criticized a video featuring Senator Imee Marcos that apparently mocked people who work up to 18 hours a day.
“Before, work was done 12 to 16 hours a day with no overtime premium.
But the universal standard of the 8-hour work day has already been enacted, thanks to the combined efforts of workers both in and outside of government,” De Guzman said in Tagalog in a statement.
“As technology has advanced, people should gain more control of their lives. We are not attached to a machine, or a simple tool used for the operation of companies,” he added in defending a shorter workday.
This was after the labor leader blasted Marcos, sister of presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who in a video titled “Pagod Len Len” seemed to agree with a statement saying that “anyone who claims to work 18 hours a day is either lying or stupid.”
The video has drawn criticism online, with social media posts filled with stories of employees such as healthcare workers who render additional hours of work either because of the nature of their job or just to make ends meet.
Aside from Marcos, the parody features Showtime Miss Q&A winner Juliana Parizcova Segovia and a certain Roanna Marie.
De Guzman criticized the video, saying it discredits the realities that an ordinary Filipino worker faces. He said the daughter of the late President Ferdinand Marcos was able to say such things because she never experienced being a common laborer.
“She has never experienced being a worker. She was never taken care of by a mother who had the double burden of house chores apart from earning a living,” he said in a statement.
“Because our salaries are so low, our fellow workers aren’t just doing overtime, many of them also have sideline jobs,” he added.
Based on the Department of Labor and Employment’s website, the current minimum wage rates in the National Capital Region are between P500 to P537, while this is lower in other areas.
The government’s Philippine Statistics Authority, meanwhile, said a Filipino family of 5 needed P12,082 per month to cover basic food and non-food needs in the first semester of 2021.