Junk the TRAIN Law! Pass the National Minimum Wage Bill! – KMU

National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno, contractual workers’ national organization Kilos Na Manggagawa and partylist representatives from the Makabayan bloc filed today a National Minimum Wage Bill which aims to bring back the nationalized setting of the minimum wage as opposed to the current regionalized wage setting.

“The pressing down of wages through the regional boards must stop! The government should bring back the national minimum wage and ensure workers’ right to a living wage and to humane conditions of work,” Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, said.

The bill provides that the national minimum wage should be set at seven hundred fifty pesos a day for private sector workers to achieve at least half of the estimated family living wage, and should be periodically increased to reach living standards.

“Passing the NMW bill would increase workers’ wages to P750 nationwide, which would serve as an immediate relief to workers and our families amidst the unabated price increases of basic goods and services brought about by the Duterte administration’s TRAIN law,” Labog said.

KMU also joined in filing a petition to junk the railroaded Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, noting that the law only siphons more taxes from workers’ meager wages.

“The TRAIN law has been a heavy and unfair burden on Filipino workers. It is robbing us of our meager wages and resulted in an even wider gap between existing wage levels and the living wage,” Labog said.

KMU welcomed other labor groups’ support for the National Minimum Wage Bill and demands for wage and allowance increases, saying that the fight for living wages would further strengthen the labor sector unity in advancing workers’ rights to living wages and decent jobs.

“We call on all Filipino workers to unite and fight for a national minimum wage. We must hold the Duterte administration accountable for failing to deliver his promise of doing away with the regionalized wage setting and for pursuing the previous administrations’ cheap labor policies. The NMW bill would give the labor sector another reason to fortify our class unity in advancing workers’ rights to living wages and decent, regular jobs,” said Labog.