Labor Day woes
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Today is Labor Day, an event that is celebrated worldwide to honor those who work and, to quote a cliché, keep the wheels of business and industry turning. Those who have lived long enough to remember how this internationally observed holiday was adopted, know that it was intended, not only to acknowledge those who work with their hands and sinews, but also those who lead and direct them as their peers.
Another purpose of the day was to focus on the dignity of labor and its importance to the population of a country and also to the rest of the world.
In recent years, however, the day had become an occasion for airing concerns, and even grievances over the conditions of some workers and the compensation they get for the work they render.
In our province, Negros Occidental and in the Western Visayas Region, the eve of Labor Day was marked with the announcement from Labor officials to those seeking increases in wages because of the present economic condition of the country that, in answer to their calls for a hike in the minimum wage set by the government, what had been approved was only an additional P12 daily to the minimum pay of workers.
This was met with dismay and disappointment from various sectors who denounced the amount as inadequate and negligible, compared to the rise in the prices of commodities and services that they have to cope with. On the other hand, those in management, too, complain about increased production and maintenance costs that they have to meet.
Both have their problems and, perhaps, the P12 increase is a compromise that they will have to abide with for some time. We are heartened to see, however, that, despite their objections, our workers are airing their protests and disenchantment in civil and reasonable ways that indicate a reasonableness and maturity that augurs well for both sides.*