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Workers slam Noynoy’s May 1 gift

“It’s more of a spit in the face than a gift.”

This was labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno’s reaction to Malacañang’s announcement that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s “good news” for Labor Day will consist of non-wage benefits from Pag-ibig, PhilHealth, Social Security System and Government Service Insurance System.

“Workers are outraged over the Aquino government’s refusal to grant the significant wage hike that we badly need right now to cope with the skyrocketting prices of basic goods and services. This is not a move of a government that is genuinely concerned over the intensifying hunger and poverty among its people, but of a government wanting to project that at least it is doing something,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“We feel insulted by this ‘gift’ because it does not recognize the immense value that we workers have created over the past years. We have worked so hard over the past years and the significant wage hike that we are asking for amounts to only a 15% reduction in the profits of capitalists in the country,” Labog added.

The labor leader cited the study released by Ibon Foundation showing that a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide is equivalent to a 15.1% reduction in the profits of capitalists.

Jobless fairs

KMU also slammed the job fairs that Malacañang will hold on Labor Day, which will offer 648,000 jobs according to Labor Sec. Rosalinda Baldoz.

“If these job fairs really provide jobs to unemployed Filipinos, given the government’s zeal in holding these, unemployment in the country should have been wiped out a few years ago. These job fairs are publicity stunts more than anything else,” Labog said.

“Even the government can claim only a 10% on-the-spot employment in these job fairs. The number of people who troop to these job fairs is an indictment of the government’s failure to provide jobs to the Filipino people,” he added.

“It is clear that the Filipino workers and people have every reason to show outrage on Labor Day. It is also clear that the workers’ and people’s protests will continue and intensify even beyond May 1,” Labog concluded.

Reference Person: 
Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson
Contact information: 

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