P750 nat’l minimum wage demand backed

AHEAD of the 2019 International Workers’ Day, a progressive congressman has stressed that the demand for the P750 National Minimum Wage has become a national people’s movement against exploitation and oppression by foreign monopoly and the country’s oligarchs.

“Workers, agricultural workers, peasants, urban poor and other sectors across the country have been demanding the P750 national minimum wage, thus, stressing its national and democratic character against plunder of labor by imperialists and its local cohort oligarchs,” said Anakpawis party-list Rep. Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao.

The lawmaker recently joined a caravan of Kilusang Mayo Uno–Ilocos and Anakpawis in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

He said that the majority of the workers in Ilocos are contractual, informal and earning lower than the set minimum wage at P340 a day. In the town centers, most are semi-workers in transport, retail and other services.

“They earn less but pays as much or even more than those in Metro Manila,” he stressed.

In Central Luzon, workers have been victims of the “no union, no strike” policy and contractual labor such as in Clark Special Economic Zone and the case of Hanjin workers in Subic.  While capitalists facing strong workers’ unions carried out union-busting such as in the case of Stronghold Steel workers in Pampanga.

“In mega-Manila areas and Calabarzon, there was an upsurge of workers’ actions against ENDO and for P750 national minimum wage. This is a breakthrough movement, when they were usually suppressed by anti-worker provisions of the Labor Code,” he said.

The lawmaker earlier visited picketlines of workers of NutriAsia in Bulacan, UniPak in Navotas, Middleby and Monde Nissin in Laguna, Jollibee in Parañaque, and PLDT in Manila.  Workers were demanding regularization and increase in wages.