Custom Search
Protected by Copyscape Duplicate Content Tool

Monday, May 2, 2011

Labor Day: Uplifting Laborers’ Condition

May 1 is Labor Day here in the Philippines. I am not just sure if it is an international event. Here, laborers from different sectors celebrate the annual event but not with festivities but with protests and rallies to ask for wage hike and demand for fair labor practices.

I believe that the two of the biggest issues that concern labor are:

  • Wage hike
  • Contractualization

Wage hike has been the issue of many labor organizations since I am a child. I have been hearing their protests and demands, and at the same time the answer of the government and the business sector: Salary increase will raise the price of consumer goods and commodities.

Labor and organizations that support them do not agree but basic consumers’ mathematics clearly shows that the theory is factual. Although there are many factors that affect pricing, retail business follows a formula to get the right price per product.

  • Cost of materials
  • Labor (do you pay per piece, per dozen or per hour/day/month)
  • Overhead
  • Profit margin (why do business if you will not profit)

If any of the factors above goes up, the price per product goes up as well. I do not know why the labor sector does not want to accept that fact.

However, it does not mean that I do not agree with the demand for wage hike but if we accede to the demand, we should prepare for the resulting increase in prices. The government says that such movement in the economy is not suitable now.

There are businesses that do well, some are just seasonal while there are businesses that are falling apart. I suggest that we strengthen Collective Bargaining Agreements between business and labor. I believe that is the best solution to the problem. Those businesses that earn well should pay their laborers well too while those who are not doing well can negotiate with their workers an amount that would be fair for both parties. Still, I believe that for the protection of laborers, the government should adjust the minimum wage to a decent level.

The issue of contractualization plagues the labor sector in recent years. Workers could not keep a decent work because they need to follow a contract that never gets them permanent. The government should make sure that business does not make profit at the expense of their workers. It is duty to make sure that business and labor gets a fair deal.

Image Above Courtesy of:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...