ILO study shows significant wage hike needed

LABOR center Kilusang Mayo Uno said today that the International Labor Organization’s most recent study on wages shows that workers in the country urgently need a significant wage hike.

KMU was responding to the ILO’s Global Wage Report 2012/13, which shows that the growth of real wages in developing countries has remained below the level before the eruption of the global financial and economic crisis in 2008.

The study also showed that workers are getting a smaller portion of companies’ incomes, which go mostly to profits, including shareholders’ dividends.

“The ILO study confirms that Filipino workers are receiving meager wages and capitalists are raking in big profits. These are global trends, not just local ones,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“The country should not go along with this global trend. That’s why we workers are pressing for a significant wage hike,” he added.

“Because of low wages, workers are suffering from greater poverty, hunger and indebtedness. A significant wage hike will provide some form of relief from these,” he said.

The ILO study showed that Filipino workers in the manufacturing sector are receiving wages that are smaller compared with workers in other countries.

The study showed that in 2010, Filipino workers took home an average of $1.41 per hour worked, a far cry from the amount received by workers in Denmark ($34.78), US ($23.32) and Brazil ($5.41).

On the other hand, the average wage received by Filipino workers for every hour worked in 2010 was not far from corresponding amounts received by workers in China ($1.36 in 2008) and India ($1.17 in 2007).

“The Aquino government keeps comparing wages in the Philippines with wages in the few countries which have lower wages. Because it wants Filipino workers’ wages to be ‘globally competitive,’ it is impoverishing workers even more,” Labog said.

“We are calling on the House of Representatives to pass the P125 Wage Hike Bill before Christmas. It would be one of its best gifts to Filipino workers,” he added.

KMU has been calling for the immediate passage of House Bill 375, or the P125 Wage Hike Bill, which was filed by Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Rafael V. Mariano and seeks to legislate a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide.

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