Monday, January 16, 2006

P125 pay hike pressed as Congress reopens

ANAKPAWIS Representatives Crispin Beltran and Rep. Rafael Mariano will push their campaign for a P125 across-the-board wage hike as Congress resumes sessions today.

"The struggle for the long-delayed P125 across-the-board nationwide wage hike will be entering its sixth year, more than half a decade since militant workers under the Kilusang Mayo Uno took to the streets to ask for a much-needed wage increase in August 25, 1999," Beltran, former KMU chairman, said.

"For six years since 1999, millions of workers nationwide have rallied for a legislated across-the-board wage hike of P125. For six long years, no real wage increase has been granted by the government despite the record-breaking prevalence of hunger, soaring oil and food prices, E-VAT, inflation, labor unrest over low wages, unjustifiable power and water rate hikes, and the brutal massacres and suppression of workers asserting their rights to a living wage," he noted.

"For all the controversial and disheartening issues faced by the nation today, we in Anakpawis are also directing our energies to decisively clinching the long-struggle for legislated P125 wage increase," he said.

Beltran scored the Arroyo administration for "its continuing attempts to deny more than 16 million workers and their families the right to life by refusing to support the clamors for an immediate nationwide wage increase of P125, while shamelessly proposing schemes to impose anti-people policies and tinker with the Constitution in order to prolong its illegitimate grip over the Presidency".

"President Arroyo and her allies here in Congress should heed the peoples' calls. The public clamor for the immediate approval of a legislated P125 wage increase and the rejection of the anti-people and anti-nationalist Charter Change have basically remained intact and strong for seven years," he added .

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