May 21, 2012
Metro Workers picket the NCR Wage Board:
Workers’ Cost of Living not Employers’ Capacity to Pay! – BMP NCRR
In reaction to the latest order by the NCR wage board, the militant socialist center Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) National Capital Region Rizal chapter (BMP-NCRR) picketed the offices of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board in in Malate, Manila today.
Last Friday, the NCR wage board ordered a two-tier P30 cost of living allowance (COLA) and the integration of P22 previous COLA into the basic pay. Romy Castillo, BMP spokesperson said, “The order is an insult. The P30 COLA is not even enough to buy a kilo of rice. More so, it also falls short of the P90 to P125 across-the-board wage relief demand by organized labor.”
Castillo added, “Workers, however, have little to expect from the regional wage boards. Its checkered track record shows that it is patently not a mechanism for economic relief. Their wage increase orders are a pittance. The exemptions they give to employers make their directives a paltry. Barya na nga! Ipinagkait pa ng mga eksempsyon! Two-gives pa!”
BMP-NCRR Secretary General, Gie Relova explained, “The NCR wage board fulfilled its mandate in accordance to Republic Act 6727, or the 1989 Wage Rationalization Act: to peg wages to the level of starvation pay”.
The BMP is demanding the reform of the country's wage fixing mechanisms and the abolition of the wage boards. The labor group is calling for the scrapping of RA 6727 since “it gives more weight and consideration to “employers’ capacity to pay” rather than the “cost of living” for the workers and their families.
“Workers are not asked for their "capacity to buy" when we buy our families' needs. Why then, in fixing wages, must the government ask the employers in the tripartite wage boards if they have the "capacity to pay" the living wage?”, Relova asked. The BMP estimates the daily cost of living for a family of six to be at P990.
Relova elucidated, “Are workers asking too much if they want to be paid at cost? Prices of commodities are generally the sum of "cost of production" and profit. For the price of labor power (wages), workers want to be paid according to the necessary costs for workers and their families to survive decently.”
At the protest, the workers brought “thirty (30) rotten eggs” to highlight their disgust to the latest wage order of P30 COLA for Metro Manila worker.“Tatlumpong bugok na itlog para sa bugok sa wage board”, Relova concluded. #