ST riders sped off to HoR, Mendiola for wage hike

Not the usual motorcycle enthusiasts and riders clubs which seek road adventures during weekends, these workers got their two wheels, hit the high gear, and road off for a cause to the House of Representatives and Mendiola.

Led by Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU), 60 workers wearing “P125 vests” from various companies in Southern Tagalog rode their motorcycles to Manila, pushing for the wage increase, today, November 25. A hundred other workers and community members, in jeepneys, joined the motorcade caravan which kicked off at 7:00 AM in Cabuyao, Laguna.

“We are calling the attention of the Congress, Malacanang, and more so with the wider public, that we are serious in demanding for the legislated P125 daily wage increase,” said PAMANTIK-KMU spokesperson Hermie Marasigan.

P148 to P320 in the region

With the last Wage Order No. IVA-13 in 2008, minimum wage in CALABARZON ranges from P148 to P320.

“Wages in the region is way too low. Worse, most employers don’t even implement the minimum wage. In one documented case, a foreign-owned garments company, workers receive only P70 daily,” confirmed Marasigan.

The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) pegged in September 2008 the family living wage to P809 for a family with 6 members.

Marasigan added, “Prices of basic needs never go down but continuously increase. By now, a worker’s family, in order to survive a day, should be earning more than P900.”

House Bill 375

The motorcade caravan demands the immediate passage into law of House Bill 375 filed by Anakpawis Partylist.

Marasigan added, “Workers have been demanding for the P125-legislated wage increase since 1999. The wage bill originally authored by the late Crispin ‘Ka Bel’ Beltran has been continuously and deliberately delayed at the Congress committee level.”

“P125 wage increase is actually not enough, but it will at least shoulder some of our basic needs. We believe that it is only through workers and people’s continuous actions that the government and employers will be pushed to heed this demand. We will continuously campaign for P125.”

The workers held a program at the House of Representatives. Anakpawis Partylist representative Rafael Mariano and KMU Chairman Elmer Labog conveyed their messages to the workers and the urgency of the wage increase.

Members of KMU and Kilusan ng Manggagawang Kababaihan joined the motorcade caravan in Mendiola Bridge.  The program ended 3:30PM.###

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