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Bacolod City, PhilippinesFriday, April 29, 2011
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Labor groups urge:
Amend wage law

A labor organization in Negros Occidental yesterday called onother groups  with representatives in Congress to push for the amendment ofRepublic Act 6727, or the Wage Rationalization Act to give workers the chance to appeal for a rational pay increase.

RA 6727 created the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards that will balance the fixing of minimum wages with the workers jobs andpromote productivity and gain toworkers andemployers as well, Alan Gozon, chairman of the Democratic Association of Labor Organization-Negros said at a press conference yesterday in  Bacolod City.

However, in the RTWPB, representatives of the labor groups are always outnumbered when the board needs to decide on the pay increase demanded by the workers, Gozon said.

Lumaya Ka secretary general Ben Solilapsi said there should be a legislative process to abolish the RTWPB to be able to giveboth organized and unorganized workers the right wages and benefits.

RTWPB follows guidelines mandated by the law to fix minimum wages however, when workers demanded for the P100 wage increase last August 2010, they only approved the P15 increase. The workers have no choice but the accept the increase Gozon said.

Solipalsi said if the board will only favor those who are in power without looking at the situation of the workers, then, RTWPB  is not  serving its purpose.

But as long as the National Wage Board exists, all concerns and petitions to wage hikes are addressed through the RTWPB, Gozon said, adding that they will push for the P99 daily pay increase in Region VI.

Meanwhile, it will be a bleak future for the labor force on May 1 as there will be no wage increase as declared by President Benigno Aquino III,Gozon also said yesterday.

There is no basis for the wage increase because it was earlier reported that the inflation of the country did not reach five percent, he  said.

He added that  this willnot stop them from joining other labor organizations in conducting a rally on Sunday to symbolize their continuedfight for increaseddaily wages.

Ben Solilapsi, secretary general of Lumaya Ka saidthe rallywill also call for the preservation of labor unions and to stop union- busting.

He said they support Aquino in solving graft and corruption in the country but this does not solve the problem of poverty, adding that it will be a gift to them ifthe presidentwill abolish the Oil Deregulation Law and the contractualization that will ensure their security of tenure.

Hemigillo Borromeo, spokesperson of Secure the People-Negros called on all labor sectors and groups to unite as one to strengthen their cause for wage increase.

On Sunday, Lumaya Ka, DALO, Negros Alliance of Human Rights Advocate, Movement for Agrarian and Rural Advancement, andother progressive groups will hold therally at the Rizal Park in Bacolod City to commemorate Labor Day.*LTG

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