3 September 2008
Workers storm first Congressional hearing on P125 bill, dare solons not to
bring up passe arguments vs. wage hike
Slam proposed doubling of wages of top gov’t officials
Workers led by the Kilusang Mayo Uno, and various sectors led by the Unity
For P125 alliance, overfilled the rooms of Congress today on the first
hearing of the P125 wage bill under the present term of legislators.
“This hearing was the result of our collective protests and perseverance;
if we hadn’t picketed the house of Congress Labor Chair Magtanggol
Gunigundo twice, he wouldn’t be compelled to start the deliberations for
the P125 bill,” said Elmer Labog, KMU Chairperson.
“Our full mobilization today should serve as warning to our solons and to
representatives of big business not to employ dirty tricks to maneuver the
hearings. Early at this start of the battle, we dare them not use again
and again their passe arguments versus the wage hike.”
Labog said that a substantial wage hike should not be blamed for further
inflation. “Indeed, price spikes have happened without the passage of a
meaningful wage hike, that’s why it is more than necessary to enact it
“The DOLE itself reported that average daily labor productivity increased
from P439 in 2002 to P610 in 2006, but basic pay only increased by around
P36 during the same period. The ECOP also revealed that labor cost is only
10 percent at the maximum of business costs.
“Businesses can easily deduct the cost of wage hike from their profits,
and should not pass it to consumers,” Labog explained.
Not cause of closures
Labog also slammed reasonings that wage increase can cause the closures of
“The net income of top 1,000 corporations increased from P117 billion in
2001 to P497.4 billion in 2005. Gross profit margin rose at 19.56% per
year over the same period.”
Why double the salaries of Arroyo and friends?
Labog further condemned the
proposed 100% increase in the salaries of the President and top government
officials, while only allowing for a much lesser increase in low-income
public sector workers.
“How dare they double their salaries while freezing the wages of the
majority of the people! Their wages are actually automatically increased
by billions through corruption.
“Arroyo deserves a job termination, not a wage hike.”
Elmer Labog, KMU Chairperson, 0921.536.6115
Wendell Gumban, KMU Public Information Officer, 0916.472.9467