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‘Aquino’s speech fell short of workers’ expectation for wage increase’ – KMU

President Benigno “Noyno” Aquino III failed to mention in his inaugural speech what workers have long expected him to address: substantial wage increase.

“He may have mentioned grand promises for change, but he left out workers’ simple and straightforward demand for a substantial wage increase. His speech fell short of the Filipino workers’ expectation,” Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Elmer “Bong” Labog said.

Days before his inauguration, workers led by KMU even trooped to President Aquino’s home on Times St. to register their call for a P125 nationwide legislated wage hike to the new administration.

“It would be hard for workers to imagine Aquino’s promise of change if wages nationwide would not substantially change. It would be hard to imagine the eradication of poverty and hunger when Filipinos do not have anything to spend on to eat,” Labog said.

KMU also cautioned Aquino against his plan to implement the “emergency employment” program, saying it was in fact already revived by former President Gloria under the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP), which has only created more contractual and low-paying jobs.

“Workers are expecting more than emergency employment. We want decent and stable jobs under the Aquino administration,” Labog said.

KMU added that Aquino’s promise to pursue justice under his administration should also include punishing businesses, most especially foreign corporations, which violated core labor rights standards via union-busting, retrenchment and outright harassment and killings.

“We also demand that the Aquino administration will seek justice for the striking farm workers brutally killed in Hacienda Luisita,” the labor leader said.


Reference Person: 
Elmer "Bong" Labog, KMU chairperson
Contact information: 

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