To mark the 152nd birthday of working-class hero Andres Bonifacio, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno together with sectoral organizations under umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan marched to Mendiola this morning to call for a P125 across-the-board wage hike.
The protestors called on workers to emulate Bonifacio, who led the revolution against Spanish colonialism, and fight for their economic interests such as higher wages, an end to contractual employment, and the free exercise of trade-union rights.
They also called on workers to fight to end the new form of colonialism which they say still dominates the country, as shown by the thrust of the recently-concluded Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit held in the Philippines of serving the interests of big foreign capitalists to the detriment of workers and Filipinos.
“One hundred fifty-two years after Bonifacio was born, Filipino workers are suffering from worsening hunger, poverty and indebtedness as a result of starvation wages. And the Philippines continues to be treated as a colony of big foreign powers,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
The labor leader said that had Bonifacio been alive today, he would surely champion the workers’ call for a P125 across-the-board wage hike, which seeks to correct the decades of meager adjustments approved by the country’s wage boards amidst the soaring prices of basic goods and payments for services.
“We are calling on workers to emulate the heroism of Bonifacio and fight for our economic and political interests and for our motherland. Filipino workers will continue to be exploited and oppressed until the country is set free from present-day colonialism,” added Labog.
The protestors wore red scarves like those worn by members of the Katipunan, the secret society that was formed and led by Bonifacio, to signify their pledge to fight for workers’ rights and for national liberation.