DAVAO CITY – Some 5,000 workers are set to join a rally being organized by the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) on May 1 to celebrate the International Labor day and to commemorate the group’s 35th founding anniversary.
“Gina-expect na nato nga daghan-daghan ang mosalmot sa kini nga protesta sa Mayo 1 kay tungod kay naga-grabe na gyod ang issue diri sa Southern Mindanao in particular tungod sa mga atake sa suhulan didto sa mga banana industry (We are expecting that many will join the protest on May 1 because of the issues of workers here in Southern Mindanao, particularly workers in the banana industry),” KMU Southern Mindanao spokesperson Carlo Olalo said.
KMU Mindanao spokesperson Joel Maglunsod said that the May 1 activities are organized to address the call of the workers to the Aquino administration.
“The workers are rallying because of his (Aquino) criminal neglect on the interest of our workers, the continuous attacks to cut the wages of our workers, the ongoing contractualization, and the unending violation of the democratic rights of our workers in establishing union and even in organizing strikes,” Maglungsod said.
KMU here said the government should heed the call for the P16,000 monthly National Minimum Wage.
Maglunsod said that the government and private corporations can afford to provide the proposed rate.
“Last year, there was a total of P1.57 trillion net profit from businesses that employed 20 workers and above. Now, if you will give 16,000 as the minimum wage, it will only amount to P268 billion. If you will subtract that from P1.57 trillion, they still have a net of P1.3 trillion,” Maglunsod said.
Maglunsod said that the 307 pesos minimum wage in Southern Mindanao cannot suffice the daily needs of a family. He added that a family living here in the region needs more than 900 pesos daily.
No to piece-rate payment
The labor group also called for the junking of the two-tiered wage and piece-rate payment schemes. They also lashed out against contractualization which they said President Aquino ordered through DOLE Department Order 18-A.
The piece-rate payment or the so-called “pakyawan” will cut workers’ wages by half of a workers’ previous pay under the hourly rate payment scheme. The two-tiered wage system consists of a fixed “floor wage,” or entry level for new entrants and low-skilled workers, and a flexible wage above the floor based on worker productivity and performance of the industry and enterprises, which may be negotiated between the employer and the workers.
“Never sa paglingkod ni Noynoy Aquino nga naa syay pronouncement sa May 1 para dugangan nya ang suhulan sa mga mamumuo. Gani, klaro kwentas klaras ang ingon nya dili siya mohatag og dugang suhulan sa mga mamumuo (Never did Noynoy Aquino pronounce to increase workers’ wages. What he clearly stated before was that he will not increase it),” Maglunsod added.
The leader also said that at present, there is an uproar over the blatant attacks on wages in Compostela Valley. He said banana plantations and other capitalists “are trying to reverse the minimum wage victories of agricultural workers, victories which they fought for through previous strikes”. (davaotoday.com)