KMU to Marcos: “The Filipino people and workers are displeased with your self-aggrandizing schemes”

Kilusang Mayo Uno, together with Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, and NAGKAISA labor coalition held a press conference today as the National Wage Coalition. Other labor groups such as Partido Manggagawa, Public Services Labor Independent Confederation, and Public Services International also joined the conference.

The groups united under the banner call “Dagdag Sahod, Isabatas! ₱150 Pataas!” and called for a legislated wage increase, noting the ineffectiveness of the current wage-setting mechanism by the RTWPBs. KMU pointed out that from 1965 to 2021, the real value of wages was consistently at around 500 pesos, and has failed to keep up with the rising prices of goods and services. KMU also asserted that RWBs have been instrumental in the failure to raise the value of real wages and even wage depression, in worse cases.

“Due to the inefficiency of the RWBs in raising minimum wages to allow workers to afford a decent living, the majority of Filipino workers are forced to live below the poverty threshold. Poverty has been the norm the government forced upon workers for the past 35 years,” said Kilusang Mayo Uno Chairperson Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog. 

KMU reiterated the urgent need to raise wages, and the necessity to pursue a significant wage increase through other avenues, particularly through legislation.

“It is time for Congress to do its job, and legislate a significant wage increase towards attaining a family living wage for all workers. In the 1987 Philippine Constitution, it is clearly stated that every Filipino has the right to a living wage – a right that we have always been deprived of. Congress must act in accordance with the Constitution, instead of preoccupying itself with changing it,” declared KMU Chairperson Labog.

KMU also demanded Marcos to certify wage hike legislation as priority bills, if he is truly sincere in celebrating Labor Day.

“Marcos, wake up and see the truth: the Filipino people and workers are displeased and enraged by your self-aggrandizing schemes. Perform your obligation to the workers, and command Congress to pass legislated wage hikes. We will not be dazzled by your smoke and mirrors.” added Labog.

The labor groups announced that they will march together on Labor Day and enjoined more workers to join the march. KMU also called out to Filipino workers across the country and across the globe to mobilize in their thousands on Labor Day.