Workers reject Cha-cha, demand wage hike

Mar. 19, 2014

Media Release

One week after the House of Representatives went on recess after having passed a resolution that seeks to amend the 1987 Constitution, workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno marched to Mendiola this morning to condemn moves to amend the country’s Charter and call for a significant wage hike.

The workers said Pres. Noynoy Aquino, who said he will not stop Congress from pursuing Charter change (Cha-cha) and whose leading allies in the Liberal Party are responsible for resolutions to amend the Constitution, is really the driver of the Cha-cha train.

Carrying a large streamer that reads “P125 Dagdag-sahod, hindi Cha-cha! (P125 Wage Hike, not Cha-cha!)” the workers condemned Aquino for pushing for Cha-cha in Congress and ignoring their clamor for the legislation of a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide.

“By seeking Cha-cha and refusing to implement a significant wage hike, Aquino is trying to further enrich big foreign capitalists and is allowing Filipino workers to become even poorer. It is clear who his real bosses are,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.

The workers also carried an effigy of the chief executive wearing Uncle Sam’s hat and carrying a sign with the words “PH for sale! Let’s Cha-cha!” to show Aquino’s culpability for Cha-cha initiatives in both houses of Congress.

“Aquino cannot hide in the gray area between supporting and not supporting Cha-cha. His refusal to stop Cha-cha when his allies are already railroading the move only means that he, as president, is the main proponent of Charter change,” Soluta added.

Last March 3, the House committee on constitutional amendments reported out for plenary action Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 1 filed by Speaker Sonny Belmonte, who has announced that the resolution will be taken up immediately when Congress resumes on May 5.

In the Senate, Sen. Ralph Recto has sponsored a counterpart resolution to the one filed by Belmonte at the Lower House, and Belmonte has projected that the resolution will be passed by June.

“After continuously trying to sell cheap labor by refusing to hike wages, Aquino now wants to clear the way for the complete sale of the country through Cha-cha. He is consistent in championing the interests of big foreign and local capitalists,” Soluta said.

According to independent think-tank Ibon Foundation, the Family Living Wage in the country stood at P1,051 in August 2013, a far cry from the P466 minimum wage in Metro Manila, the highest in the country.

RBH No. 1 seeks to remove provisions of the 1987 Constitution banning 100 per cent foreign ownership of lands, as well as businesses in major industries including mining, mass media and advertising.

Reference: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, 0928-7215313

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