How pay hike works

November 06, 2018

THE government has approved a P25 hike in the minimum wage of workers in Metro Manila. From P512, the workers can now receive P537 a day.

According to the National Wage and Productivity Commission (NWPC), the amount approved by the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB) was a balance between the need of workers and the capacity of enterprises to pay additional labor cost.

Of course, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) agreed with the decision of the RTWPB. I presume they are ready to defend the agreed pay hike with computations only they could understand.

On the other hand, the approved pay increase was met with stiff opposition from organized labor force who earlier demanded a P300 additional pay before settling at P100, which is P75 more than what has been decided by the RTWPB.

To show how paltry the raise was, the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said the amount was not even enough to buy a  kilo of the cheapest rice from the National Food Authority, which is pegged at P27.

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Dealing with the wage hike issue is a lot of pain in the neck. In the first place, one couldn’t tell who among the parties are telling the truth or what is accurate.

As I have said, employers can show a lot of formulas only experts can decipher to defend the amount they are willing to pay for additional cost for labor, while our workers ask for the heavens and the stars as if they are major investors in the business.

The government, on the other hand, has lost its credibility by somehow making decisions always favorable to employers because the latter pay bigger taxes.

But in case one hasn’t notice, intricate issues such as the wage hike come and go. It’s just a matter of time before things settle down and everybody is back to minding their own business.

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Fresh from school, a guy joined a bank where the union chief recruited him as  public relations officer for about a thousand-strong organized labor force.

A such, the young employee participated in many exclusive meetings during negotiations on collective bargaining agreements where he and other union officials engaged top bank executives in heated arguments.

He poured a lot of himself in that position and  came up with a monthly newsletter to promote the welfare of  union members.

Some of the paper’s contents eventually hurt management. A vice president approached the guy one day and offered the latter a promotion as bank officer. The guy declined for thinking he would be abandoning the workers’ interest and welfare.

Little did he know that the union chief was selling the CBAs to management. And since the guy  was critical of management, the top union official offered him  a cut from the deal in exchange for his silence.

Disillusioned and disheartened by what he discovered, the guy resigned from the bank and became a fiscalizer.

Now he knows how the pay hike works.

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