Why workers ‘revolt’ on Bonifacio’s birthday

Published at www.thepoc.net

Bonifacio Day

Thousands of state employees and private sector workers will mark the 147th birthday of working class hero Andres Bonifacio today with a kick-off of a “revolt” for substantial wage hikes, an item which the administration has dodged since day 1.

Workers led by Koalisyon ng Progresibong Manggagawa at Mamamayan (KPMM), a newly formed coalition of progressive groups from different sectors, will march this afternoon from Welcome Rotonda to Mendiola to denounce President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s silence on their demand.

Today also marks Aquino’s fifth month as president.

“We did not receive a substantial wage increase under more than nine years of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime. This, despite the fact that the prices of basic commodities have skyrocketed and subsidies to education, health and other social services have been reduced,” KPMM said in a report.

The group added that they have yet to hear the president’s response to their call for wage hikes in the private sector and salary increases for government employees amid soaring prices.

Some labor groups in the private sector have been pushing for the passage of the P125-across-the-board minimum wage increase, now fleshed out in the 15th Congress under House Bill 375.

Meanwhile, state employees led by the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) are pushing for the legislation of House Bill 3746, which seeks a P6,000 raise in the minimum pay of all government employees.

“We are intensifying the Filipino workers’ version of private-public partnership for a substantial wage increase. Both workers in the private and public sector have been denied the right to a living wage, both have re-filed bills for a wage hike in Congress, and both will swarm the streets on November 30,” saidElmer “Bong” Labog, chairperson of labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno and co-convenor of KPMM.

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