Labor group rejects P16 wage increase
The Associated Labor Unions (ALU) has rejected the wage board’s offer of a P16 increase. ALU spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said the workers who helped the country achieve high economic growth did not deserve P16. “It’s frustrating for us to file a wage-increase petition every time but the wage board will offer only P10, P15 or P20,” he said.
The Associated Labor Unions (ALU) has rejected the wage board’s offer of a P16 increase, less than a tenth of the P184 additional daily pay the labor group is seeking.
“We urge the wage board to be relevant and responsive to the needs of workers and their families by raising the workers’ daily pay to P675,” ALU spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said in a statement.
Tanjusay said the workers who helped the country achieve consistently high economic growth through their toil and sweat did not deserve P16.
“It’s frustrating for us to file a wage-increase petition every time but the wage board will offer only P10, P15 or P20. But ALU has to do this every time because millions of minimum wage earners are voiceless and powerless,” he added.
The P16 is on top of the current P491 daily minimum wage that 6 million minimum wage earners in 17 cities and municipalities in Metro Manila are receiving.
Tanjusay noted that during the public consultation on Thursday, the wage board announced it was amenable to grant P16 in the wake of the wage-increase petition filed by ALU after the effectivity period of the P491 daily minimum wage rate had lapsed on June 2.
ALU filed on June 6 a petition for a P184 wage increase to restore the real value of P491, which it said had been eroded by 27 percent as of May.
“Records from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and National Wages and Productivity Commission as of May 25, 2017, show the purchasing power of P491 is P357,” Tanjusay said.
Sinking purchasing power
“A sinking purchasing power of workers’ daily wage means lowering of the quality and quantity of nutritious food that is so vital to workers’ productiv- ity at [their] work and to [their] families,” he said. “A lowered purchasing power will also affect the health of the children.”
ALU placed at P1,200 the daily minimum amount needed by a family of five to meet its food and nonfood needs.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in 2015 that a family of five needed at least P6,329 monthly to meet its basic food needs and at least P9,064 to meet its basic food and nonfood needs.
The PSA defines food threshold as the minimum income required to meet basic food needs and to satisfy the nutritional requirements set by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI).
Poverty threshold is the minimum income required to meet basic nonfood needs, such as clothing, housing, transportation, health and education expenses.
P12,517 income needed
The Trade Union of the Philippines, citing figures from the FNRI Food Poverty thresholds in April last year, said P12,517 was the monthly income needed to meet the basic food needs of a family of five.
Tanjusay said ALU expected the wage board to announce the final decision on its wage petition next week.
The wage board is composed of two representatives from employers’ groups, two from labor organizations and one each from the Department of Labor and Employment, the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Trade and Industry.
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