Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano yesterday challenged newly-confirmed labor secretary Rosalinda Baldoz in a press release to start acting as a genuine labor secretary and not as a mouthpiece and apologist of employers and capitalists.
Baldoz's nomination as labor chief was approved by the Commission on Appointments in a hearing at the Senate yesterday.
“We challenge Secretary Baldoz to once and for all uphold the plight of Filipino workers. During the previous administration, all the labor secretaries were branded as anti-worker and pro-employer because of the policies implemented by DOLE that are contrary to the interests and welfare of workers,” Mariano said.
He said that among the issues that urgently needs attention from Baldoz and the DOLE is the granting of wage hikes for workers, addressing of rampant violations of labor standards including non-payment of minimum wages and statutory benefits, promotion of job security and generation of quality employment for Filipinos.
Mariano said it is time for the DOLE to abandon the regional tripartite wage settings and consider the restoration of a national wage board that will give significant and timely wage adjustment for workers under the Aquino administration.
Workers in the private sector have renewed their push for significant wage hikes, particularly the P125 across-the-board wage increase amid the rising cost of basic goods and services, the press release said.
Mariano said the DOLE, as reflected by the position and technical study of the National Wages and Productivity Commission, is opposed to a legislated wage increase.
“Again, DOLE is toeing the line of employers and capitalists on the wage hike issue,” Mariano, who is the principal author of HB 375 or the P125 across-the-board wage increase for workers in the private sector," said.
“Secretary Baldoz must prepare to face the wrath of workers if she will not make any significant reforms at DOLE,” he added.*