Three rallies calling for just wages, and a job fair by the Department of Labor and Employment will welcome 126th celebration of Labor Day in Bacolod City today.
Two Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Negros groups will march from the Provincial Capitol Lagoon Park and from Lupit Church to the Bacolod Public Plaza at 1 p.m. today for a rally with Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares as their guest speaker.
Partido ng Manggagawa-Negros will also hold a rally at the Bacolod Rotonda at Gonzaga-Gatuslao streets, while the Democratic Association of Labor Organizations-Negros will picket at the Bacolod Fountain of Justice.
Labor groups expressed their disappointment the hike of only P12 announced by the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board for Western Visayas yesterday.
Ben Tundag and Christian Tuayon, PM and Bayan Negros spokespersons, said they will call for just labor practices, substantial wage increases, and the protection and security of tenure of workers at their rallies today.
Tuayon, Bayan-Negros secretary general, said the P12 wage increase is an insult to the workers and there no justice in it.
He added that Bayan and Kilusang Mayo Uno is pushing for a P125 across the board nationwide wage increase, not for P12.
Wennie Sancho, Negros-Panay Alliance of Labor convener, said the current wage rates could not provide a decent standard of living for a worker and his family.
Jesse Baydo, of the Farmers and Laborers Alliance in Murcia for Empowerment, said they are frustrated with the P12 wage hike because it is not even enough to pay the bus fare from Murcia to Bacolod.
Meanwhile, the DOLE in Negros Occidental and the Public Employment Service Office of Bacolod City will be joined by 63 local and overseas companies for a nationwide jobs fair at the SM City Event Center in Bacolod.
The Negros Coalition for Social Change will also hold a forum on “Labor Justice for Negros Workers” at the St. Mary Vianney Hall at the St. Sebastian Parish Building, Bacolod, 9 a.m. today.
The church is supporting the cause of the labor groups in their call towards substantial wage increases and labor rights, Fr. Anecito Buenafe, chairman of the Negros Coalition for Social Change, said at a press conference at the Bishop's Palace yesterday.
In 1955 Pope Pious XII declared May 1 st the Feast of St. Joseph the worker, and this delivers the message that the Church is teaching that human beings should be considered above and over capital or gains, Buenafe said.
The NCSC forum today will focus on labor justice, outsourcing and contractualization, wage increase, and 2015 zero tariff on sugar, Buenafe said. *LTG