With just a few days before Labor Day, hundreds of workers from trade unions yesterday gathered to form stronger ties and demand a legislated wage increase.

Workers have pledged to continue mobilizing as they plan to conduct assemblies, consultations and collective mass actions demanding wage hikes.

They are hoping for the attainment of a family living wage (FLW) for workers across all sectors.

Minimum wages must meet FLW standards, according to Unity for Wage Increase Now spokesman Charlie Arevalo.

The 1987 Constitution and the International Labor Organization's agreement on living wages compel the government to set wages that afford workers a decent standard of living, he said.

One of the most vulnerable sectors for low wages forms the backbone of the government itself, former Bayan Muna representative Ferdinand Gaite said.

The basic pay of government workers starts at P13,000 a month for national agencies and P8,450 for local government units, Gaite noted.

Although military and uniformed personnel earn a minimum of P29,668 monthly, it does not meet FLW standards, he said.

Kilusang Mayo Uno secretary general Jerome Adonis cautioned against the proposed Charter change, arguing it would allow full foreign takeover which could lead to wage depression.

Current wage rates in the Philippines are insufficient, IBON Foundation executive director Sonny Africa said.

The average minimum wage for private sector workers in the country is only P440, a measly one-third of the average FLW currently pegged at P1,207, he noted. Private firms are capable of raising wages due to their overall revenue growth, he said.

The Associated Labor Unions yesterday urged Congress to legislate a P150 across-the-board daily wage hike in the private sector.

Business groups are against a legislated wage hike, preferring to leave wage setting to tripartite regional boards.

Copyright © 2022 PhilSTAR Daily, Inc Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).