Wednesday, May 25, 2005

NR0526:Labor groups unite behind P125 bill

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release May 26, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Email: paggawa@edsamail.com.ph, anakpawis2003@yahoo.com
Cellphone number 09213907362
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Various labor groups gather to form plan of action in support of P125 wage hike bill; say lawmakers black-balling wage bill will be exposed as anti-labor

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that workers from the biggest and most influential labor groups have pledged to rally behind HB 345, or the P125 across-the-board wage hike bill now pending in plenary and up for debates.

In a historic gathering this morning at the Andaya Hall of the House of Representatives, workers from the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), the National Labor Union, the United Federation and Solidarity of Workers, the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), the February Six Movement and the Young Christian Workers (YCW) gave a strong message of unity to members of the House Committee on Labor and Employment, led by its chair and principal author of HB 345 Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Roseller Barinaga.

Among the main speakers in the said forum are Beltran, Barinaga, Partido ng Manggagawa R ep. Renato Magtubo who delivered the solidarity message on behalf of the Opposition and HB345 co-author Francis Escudero, KMU chairperson Elmer Labog, Bayani Diwa, president of the UFSW, Dave Diwa, president of the NLU, Leody de Guzman, secretary general of the BMP, church leaders led by the National Coalition for the Protection of Workers Rights (NCPWR). The gathering was attended by officials representing over-all some 2,000 unions, federations and labor associations.

Beltran said that he was overwhelmed to see that labor groups are uniting behind the said proposed legislative measure, and said that Congress should take note of this. "Workers are fed up with the government's excuses that it's up to the regional wage boards to determine wage hikes. Workers demand that Congress take back its responsibility to legislate wage increases and to repeal the wage rationalization law or RA 6727," he said. "They're making note of who the solons opposing the wage bill are and they intend to expose these lawmakers as anti-labor to their respective constituencies."

Beltran said that since the KMU spearheaded the campaign for a legislated P125 across-the-board wage increase in 1999, various other labor groups have enthusiastically followed the lead and put their support behind the same call. He said that the only remaining group not supporting the campaign for wage hike legislation is the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP). "It is tragic that the TUCP continues to put its faith in the regional wage boards instead of mobilizing its mass membership to lobby Congress into legislating wage hikes and bring back a one, single national minimum wage," he said.

The veteran labor leader said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will inevitably suffer a serious backlash if she continues to order Congress to delay HB 345 and kill it in session. "A huge majority of Filipino workers actively support this bill - in the same way they are vehemently against Pres. Arroyo's infamous tax measures that were railroaded in the Senate and Congress by her allies. Workers are committing to a united plan of action to push for the passage and implementation of HB 345, and crippling labor-led protest actions are in the offing," he said.#

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