The Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) today trooped to the Department of Labor and Employment to denounce the position taken by the agency against the proposed P125 wage hike bill now pending with the Senate.
“This only goes to show where the true loyalty of the department lies,” said APL Deputy Secretary-General Edwin Bustillos,”instead of protecting workers’ interests, it is instead capitulating too easily to the scare tactics being peddled by the likes of ECOP.”
“We have warned against the appointment of Art Brion as DOLE Secretary from the very beginning,” added Bustillos, “and this position he has now taken is a monumental disappointment and a complete betrayal of the mandate of his department.”
“Clearly the DOLE refuses to listen to workers’ argument that the wage boards are useless,” said Bustillos. “Brion and his boss in Malacañang are using the boards as an excuse against any wage hike when they fully know well how easily we lose out whenever we petition the regional wage boards for pay increases.”
“We maintain that it is still a legislated wage increase, nationwide in scope and cuts across the board which is the first crucial step in truly uplifting the welfare of workers,” added Bustillos. “To make such legislation even more effective, industry-wide and CBA-based pay hikes would be ideal and most beneficial, but the government lacks the political will to pursue such policies.”
“An embattled administration will doubtlessly cave in to business pressure and sell out workers in the process,” pointed out Bustillos. “but there is still a chance to carry out the P125 wage hike if the Hosue and Senate can muster enough will to override any threatened veto.”
“A wage hike is the only available relief to workers everywhere and it is high time that such relief be made available,” Bustillos added. “The DOLE’s pro-capitalist position is defeatist and immoral and should be exposed as merely part and parcel of the rottenness and utter elitism of GMA’s corrupt and malevolent administration.”