DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Workers mounted protests on Monday against the proposed compressed work week schemes which they described as dangerous to their health.
“The Duterte administration wants to kill us by legalizing slave labor through compressed work week schemes,” Lito Ustarez, KMU vice chairperson for political and external affairs, said Monday, September 18.
In Manila, a protest led by Kilusang Mayo Uno was held to express workers’ opposition against the looming institutionalization of the new proposed work schemes.
Workers in Pasay City also trooped the Senate building to call for the junking of the Senate Bill 1571 or the Compressed Work Week bill filed by Senator Joel Villanueva.
KMU reported that in Nexperia (formerly NXP Semiconductors Inc.), a worker already died due to a heart disease from work fatigue, stress and long exposure to chemicals because of working for up to 12-hours under a compressed work week scheme.
Meanwhile, local unions in export processing zones in Laguna also held lunchbreak protests to cite the effects of the implementation of extended work hour schemes in their workplaces.
Proponents of the compressed work week policy said it will “promote business competitiveness, work efficiency and labor productivity.”
Under the compressed work week, employees are allowed to work four days a week, but they must work up to 12 hours a day, a provision that did not sit well with KMU.
They said such scheme “resulted in wage cuts, massive lay-offs, work related diseases and even workplace deaths.”
The labor union called on lawmakers to junk the Senate Bill 1571, saying it is anti-worker.
Ustarez added that the government should focus on ending contractualization and increasing the minimum wage. (davaotoday.com)