Scrapping minimum wage to expose workers to abuse, virtual slavery—labor groups | Inquirer Business

Scrapping minimum wage to expose workers to abuse, virtual slavery—labor groups

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 08:51 PM September 09, 2014


MANILA, Philippines—Labor groups in the country cautioned government policy makers on Tuesday against lifting the minimum wage requirement, saying that doing so would expose workers to abuse.

Alan Tanjusay, spokesperson of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), said the minimum wage has been serving as the minimum standard to protect workers’ interests, and improve the quality of labor.


“If there is no minimum wage, workers will be very vulnerable to abuse and oppression,” said Tanjusay. “There has to be a standard such as the minimum wage. Otherwise, we will revert back to the age of slavery.”

Julius Cainglet, Federation of Free Workers (FFW)’s assistant vice president for Research, Communication, Networking and Project Development, on the other hand, said PIDS’ views were not new.


“The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have been saying that for years.  The think tank’s research seems wanting as it failed to consider the real state of workers,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a text message.

“The minimum wage is but a meager social protection for workers. Present minimum wage rates in Metro Manila could not even cover half the required income needed to afford your family a decent life. Besides, the minimum wage is much smaller in the provinces where a lot of investors set up manufacturing plants,” he said.

“Abolishing the minimum wage would only work if workers have a voice, that is if the majority of them are unionized. We know how employers do everything to bust unions.

Without a minimum wage to bank on and a union to fight for their rights to just wages, benefits and better working conditions, the government is opening the floodgates for even more exploitation of workers. We will end up with workers receiving alms and getting employed for no more than five months,” added Cainglet.

The FFW official urged the government to instead look at improving the environment for doing business in the country, which would significantly impact the capacity of businesses to employ more workers and pay wages.

“What is pushing down employment is the high cost of doing business. For one, the country’s power rates are the highest in Asia. Add the fact that there are mounting fees, permits and impossible requirements when applying for a new business or renewing permits for the same. It is a nightmare in fact,” said Cainglet.

“The FFW believes that this is what curtails employment more and not the minimum wage. We would want to abolish the wage boards for the right reasons like for being insensitive to the needs of workers. But removing the minimum wage right now will only deprive workers even more of their just share in the country’s economic growth,” he added.



DOLE told labor unions best deterrents vs abuses

P90 wage hike bid filed for region’s workers

The business headlines in under one minute

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Abuse, Alan Tanjusay, Employment, Federation of Free Workers, FFW, jobs, Julius Cainglet, labor groups, minimum wage, minimum wage exemption, News, oppression, small and medium enterprises, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, TUCP, wage, work
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2022 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.