Workers say, minimum wage starves families

April 17, 2015

By All Workers Unity
All Workers Unity protesting at Quiapo, Manila, demanding for National Minimum Wage of P16,000 monthly for all workers and employees in both public and private sectors.

All Workers Unity protesting at Quiapo, Manila, demanding for National Minimum Wage of P16,000 monthly for all workers and employees in both public and private sectors. Image from KMU

This morning, the broad campaign network for the National Minimum Wage of P16,000 monthly went to market in Quiapo, Manila to stage a “Palengke Protest” to expose the current minimum wage is not enough to provide the basic needs of workers’ families to survive.
 
All Workers Unity, a campaign formation of private-sector workers, government employees, teachers, health workers and other sectors all over the country, said the extremely low wages in the country aggravated by the high prices of basic goods resulted to the deplorable and sub-human condition of Filipino workers and families.
 
The group said the recent round of increases in power and water rates, MRT, LRT and PNR fares, and the prices of other basic goods has made the minimum wage even more unbearable for the country’s workers.
 
“The value of the P15.00 wage hike in Metro Manila has already eroded before implementation this April with the February power rate hike at P168 alone,” said Rea Alegre, All Workers Unity spokesperson.
 
“With the present minimum wage levels, workers are sinking deeper into the quagmire of hunger and poverty. The gap between the minimum and living wage in the country has greatly increased,” Alegre added.
 
She said that according to independent NGO Ibon Foundation, the Family Living Wage (FLW) in the country stood at P1,086 a day or P32,580 a month. The highest among the 1000+ minimum wages in the country, P481 in NCR, is only 44% of the FLW. The National Minimum Wage of P16,000 monthly, is half of the FLW computed monthly.
 
“Our demand is an immediate relief for workers and their families who were struggling to survive. This is a step in bringing wages closer to the living wage in a nationwide scale, an entitlement of all Filipino workers as mandated by the 1987 Philippine Constitution,” Alegre stated.
 
All Workers Unity added that because the government and big capitalists would surely oppose our demand, all workers and employees in the private and public sectors should unite to fight for the National Minimum Wage of P16,000 monthly.
 
“We are calling on all workers and employees to unite and fight to push back attacks on the minimum wage and bring the minimum wage closer to the level of a living wage. Only through our unity and action can we force capitalists and the government to implement our demand,” said Rey Cagomoc, All Workers Unity spokesperson.
 
The group said the protest is part of a series of activities aimed at bringing workers’ demands to the public as May 1, International Labor Day, draws near.###
 
 
Reference: AWU spokespersons Rea Alegre, +63.916.684.9195; Rey Cagomoc, +63.923.-819.5860