spacer.png, 0 kB
Advertisement
Advertisement

End ENDO @ FB

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Labor Day Calls

placard-3b.jpg

Our Struggles

wd28_cebuworkers.jpg

Support PM!

pmsmiley3.jpg

Issue Highlights

Advertisement
spacer.png, 0 kB
PDF Print E-mail

Position Paper
April 8, 2010

Position Paper on the P75 Wage Petition

(Filipino version at the end)

The Partido ng Manggagawa supports the P75 wage petition filed by the TUCP. Its basis is rock solid. Inflation has truly eroded the purchasing power of workers in the almost two years since the last wage order in June 2008. And price hikes in the coming months should indeed be factored into any computation of the wage increase.

From the point of views of workers, a P75 wage hike is both appropriate and just. But a salary increase will always be rejected as inimical to the economy on grounds that it will lead to a spiral in prices, the bankruptcy of companies and a host of other horror stories.

But such is only so much black propaganda and blackmail. Why should we be afraid of additional money circulating in the economy due to a wage hike when billions of dollars in remittances entering the country is always applauded? If the stronger purchasing power of OFW families is a positive factor in the economy then should not the same thing hold for more money in the hands of workers which we will use to buy the necessities of life? A wage hike will be good for the workers and will also be beneficial to the economy because it will spur the production of more goods and provision of more services.

We seek to emphasize, the labor movement stands as one body and speaks with one voice in favor of a wage hike. The differences arise only because of the nagging question—will the NCR wage board approve of the P75 wage petition?

If we base on the track record and such facts cannot be contested; the P75 wage petition will not prosper. Since the NCR wage board was established in 1989, no basic wage increase ever granted was above P30, whether the economy was in boom or bust.

Of course the representatives of the NCR wage board will point out that they need to balance the demands of workers and the interests of the capitalists. We can understand such an argument since Republic Act 6727 or Wage Rationalization Act precisely stipulated the 10-point formula for fixing wages. Part of the 10-point formula is the cost of living estimates for workers and the capacity to pay of employers. In other words, the hands of the NCR wage board are tied in deciding the fate of the P75 wage petition. Despite its justness and correctness, in the end the interests of the employers will have to be considered and the wage petition will not be granted in full. Or maybe not even at all.

This is what we find faulty in the current wage fixing system. In computing for the wages of workers, the capacity to pay of capitalists is always a factor.

Let us think hard of this issue. Is this not a double standard? Why is it that the prices of the goods and services bought by workers are not tempered by the capacity to pay of the consumers? The answer is that prices take into account the cost of production with a margin included for the profit of capitalists. If that is how prices are fixed in this society called capitalism, then the price of the only thing sold by workers—their labor power—should also be computed in the same way. Meaning, it must be based on the cost of production of labor power. And this is precisely the cost of living of workers and their families. To think, wages do not have to take into account a “profit margin for workers,” just the daily bread of the masses, the bare necessities of life. A single criterion not the 10-point formula must be the basis for wage fixing.

This is the reason why PM advocates for the replacement of the regional wage boards and the 10-point formula by a National Wage Commission with the mandate to fix wages based on the single criterion of cost of living. And despite the huge gap between the present minimum wage and the current cost of living, the National Wage Commission can achieve equalizing the two by a host of mechanisms among which are direct wage increases, tax exemptions, price discounts at social security subsidies for workers.

In our own survey of the cost of living of a six-member working class household, it already reaches P1,000 a day while the minimum wage is a mere P382. Even if two members of the family earn a living—the buy one, take one policy of the state—their combined income will not even be enough for a decent life. Worse, there are many workers in the NCR whose minimum wages are legally pegged at the lower level of P345 as per the latest Wage Order 14. And there are millions more who survive without receiving the minimum wage and no capitalist has ever been jailed for such illegal practices that deprive workers of a right that is enshrined in the Constitution and internationally recognized. We can go on and on about the 101 reasons why the wage boards have failed the workers—for example the exemptions, deferments and creditability clauses of wage orders that legally rob a section of the 19 million wage and salaried workers from really enjoying the fruits of their labor.

We say this not to chastise the members of the NCR wage board. In the final analysis, this is a problem of the wage fixing system not of the people in the wage boards.

We went into this detail primarily in order to call on our brothers and sisters in the labor movement. Today we unite in calling for a wage increase. But tomorrow when the NCR wage board decides not to grant the P75 wage petition, then we must close ranks to demand a change in the wage fixing law.###

Twenty one years is already too long to assess the pros and cons of wage rationalization. The yawning disparity between the minimum wage and the cost of living is the clearest expression of a system failure. It is time to push for a change in the law when the new Congress opens.

But we explained our position too as a challenge to the NCR wage board. Surprise the militant workers and prove wrong the doubts we have expressed. Grant the P75 in full because it is right for the workers and it will benefit the economy. ###


Paninindigan ng PM Kaugnay ng P75 Wage Petition

Pagbati sa mga kasapi ng NCR wage board. Pagbati din sa mga kapatid sa kilusang manggagawa na naririto.

Tama ba na bigyan ang mga manggagawa ng P75 dagdag sahod? Oo. Ubra ba na mas mababa ang umento sa P75? Hindi. Ok ba na mas mataas sa P75 ang makuha ng mga manggagawa? Pwede.

Nakikiisa ang Partido ng Manggagawa sa hiling ng TUCP para sa P75 dagdag sahod. Hindi mali ang inilatag nilang batayan. Talaga namang inukok na ng pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin ang sweldo ng mga manggagawa matapos ang halos dalawang taon mula nang huling itaas ang minimum wage sa NCR. Wasto lang na kwentahin din ang ilolobo pa ng inflation sa darating na mga araw at dagdagan ang sahod ng manggagawa para balansehin ito.

Sa punto de bista ng mga manggagawa ay hindi mapapasubalian ang katumpakan at katarungan ng P75 dagdag sahod. Pero laging kokontrahin ito ng argumentong makakasira sa ekonomiya ang pagtaas ng sweldo. Mauuwi lang daw uli sa ibayong pagtaas ng presyo, pagkalugi ng mga kompanya, at iba pang horror stories.

Para sa amin, black propaganda at blackmail lang ito. Bakit kinatatakutan ang dagdag na perang iikot sa ekonomiya dahil sa umento sa sweldo gayong ikinatutuwa naman ang hamak na mas malaking bilyong dolyar na remittances ng OFW’s na pumapasok sa bansa? Kung positibong tulak sa paggulong ng ekonomiya ang purchasing power ng OFW families, siguradong ganundin ang dagdag na perang malalagay sa kamay ng manggagawa na ipambibili nila ng mga pangangailangan sa buhay? Ang dagdag sahod ay pabor di lang sa manggagawa kundi sa ekonomiya dahil itutulak nito ang masiglang produksyon ng mga kalakal.

Idinidiin namin, ang kilusang paggawa ay may iisang boses at iisang paninindigan para sa pagtaas ng sahod. Nagkakaiba lang ng pamamaraan dahil nagiging katanungan—pagbibigyan ba ng NCR wage board ang P75 hiling sa dagdag sahod?

Kung track record ang pag-uusapan at hindi maaring pagtalunan ang datos, tiyak na mabibigo ang P75 wage petition. Mula nang itinayo ang NCR wage board noong 1989, hindi pa lumagpas sa P30 ang basic wage increase na ibinigay.

Syempre ipapaliwanag ito ng mga kinatawan ng NCR wage board na bunga ito ng pagbabalanse sa hiling ng manggagawa at interes ng mga kapitalista. Maiintindihan din naman ang kanilang posisyon dahil itinakda ng RA 6727 o Wage Rationalization Act ang 10-point formula sa wage fixing. Kasama sa 10-point formula ang cost of living ng mga manggagawa at ang tinatawag na capacity to pay ng mga kapitalista. Kaya kung tutuusin, tali ang kamay ng NCR wage board sa pagdedesisyon sa P75 petisyon. Kahit pa solido ang batayan para dito, sa dulo titimbangin nila ang interes ng mga kapitalista kaya’t hindi ito maibibigay ng buo. O baka ganap na walang maibigay.

Sa tingin namin, ito ang mali sa ating wage fixing system. Sa pagkukwenta ng sweldo ng manggagawa, laging konsiderasyon ng wage boards ang capacity to pay ng mga kapitalista.

Pag-isipan nating mabuti ang bagay na ito. Hindi ba ito double standard? Bakit ang presyo ng mga kalakal na binibili ng mga manggagawa ay hindi naman binabalanse ng capacity to buy ng mga consumer? Ang sagot, dahil hindi maaring bumaba ang presyo sa cost of production ng kalakal at may palugit pa para sa tubo ng mga kapitalista. Yamang ganito ang pagtakda ng presyo ng mga kalakal sa lipunang ito, ang presyo ng kalakal na binebenta ng manggagawa—ang kanyang lakas-paggawa—ay dapat ganoon din ang pagkwenta. Ibig sabihin, bumatay ito sa cost of production ng labor power. At walang iba ito kundi ang cost of living ng manggagawa at kanyang pamilya. Ang sahod ng manggagawa ay dapat ibatay sa cost of living. Single criterion hindi 10-point formula ang kailangan.

Ito ang dahilan kung bakit naninindigan ang PM na dapat palitan ang regional wage boards at ang 10-point formula ng isang National Wage Commission na ang mandate ay itakda ang minimum wage kumporme sa cost of living. Sa kabila ng laki ng agwat sa pagitan ng minimum wage at cost of living sa ngayon, magagawa ito ng National Wage Commission sa iba’t ibang paraan gaya ng direct wage increases, tax exemptions, price discounts at social security subsidies para sa manggagawa.

Sa sarili naming pag-aaral ang cost of living ng isang anim-kataong pamilya ng manggagawa sa NCR ay nasa P1,000 kada araw pero ang minimum wage ay P382 lang. Kahit pa magtrabaho ang dalawang miyembro ng pamilya—ang buy one, take one policy ng gobyerno—kapos pa rin ang kanilang kita para mabuhay ng disente. Mas malala meron pang ang minimum wage lang ay P345 sang-ayon sa latest Wage Order 14. At mas marami pa ang hindi tumatanggap ng minimum. Katunayan marami pa tayong maaring sabihing dahilan kung bakit bigo ang mga manggagawa sa wage board—gaya ng exemptions, deferments at creditabilty clauses ng wage orders na dahilan para hindi malasap ng malaking bilang ng 19 milyung manggagawa ang anumang kakarampot na wage hike.

Sinasabi namin ito ngayon hindi para sumbatan ang wage board. Sa dulo, problema ito ng batas sa wage fixing hindi ng mga tao sa wage board.

Ipinapahayag namin ito, una na para manawagan sa mga kapatid sa kilusang paggawa. Nagkakaisa tayo ngayon sa pagtutulak ng P75 wage increase. Pero sa sandaling hindi ito sang-ayunan ng wage board, dapat namang magkaisa tayo sa pagsusulong ng pagbabago sa wage fixing system. Mahaba na ang 21 taon para timbangin ang kawastuhan ng wage regionalization. Naghuhimiyaw ang agwat sa pagitan ng minimum wage at cost of living bilang ekspresyon ng problema sa sistema. Oras na para itulak ang pagbabago sa batas kapag nagbukas ang Kongreso.

Pero ipinapahayag din namin ito bilang hamon sa NCR wage board. Gulatin ninyo kami at patunayan ninyong mali ang aming hinala. Ibigay ninyo ang P75 wage increase dahil tama ito para sa manggagawa at pabor ito sa ekonomiya.

Maraming salamat at magandang hapon. ###

 
< Prev   Next >
spacer.png, 0 kB
spacer.png, 0 kB
   
Joomla Templates by Joomlashack
Joomla Templates by Joomlashack