MANILA – The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) is mulling the filing of wage increase petitions in all regional wage boards to raise the salary of workers amid the increases in the prices of food and services caused by the implementation of the new excise tax on fuel, under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN law this year.
TUCP president Raymond Mendoza said in a statement yesterday that the labor center is monitoring the movement of prices of goods and services, following the increase in the prices of diesel and gasoline effective yesterday, through TUCP affiliates nationwide.
He said the labor union might file a minimum of P313 to a maximum of P355 wage increase petition based on the current prices of commodities.
“We will be citing supervening conditions in filing the petitions. We are also going to test once again the capacity of the wage boards to remain relevant with its mandate to raise the minimum wage to an amount that can ably support a family,” Mendoza said.
He said there is a strong clamor from its members and social media netizens to push for the abolition of differentiated wage rates and put up a single wage setting body that uniformly adjusts minimum wage rates across-the-board nationwide, using social and economic data in determining the amount.
All 17 regional wage boards last year adjusted minimum wage rates, with amounts ranging from P8.50 to P56 daily. However, despite the adjustments, current minimum wage levels remain inadequate to sustain workers and their families, he added.
The Federation of Philippine Industries, meanwhile, strongly opposed any initiative by organized labor to force another wage hike, whether by wage board order or legislated.
FPI chairman Jesus Arranza explained that the financial health of its member companies vary, therefore their ability to absorb another wage hike also varies.
He insisted that the only reasonable manner to approach the wage issue is by going the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) route. Workers should not depend on government-imposed wage increases but instead should actively engage their employers in productive negotiations for more benefits, he added.*PNA
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