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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Aquino asked: What about just compensation for workers?

Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned today Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III for saying that landlords should receive “just compensation” for their lands if these will be subjected to land reform, saying the president never showed any concern for such a compensation for workers.


“Just compensation for landlords who do not till the land and produce no value? Landlords who have made a killing while playing rich bachelors’ games? What about just compensation for workers who actually work hard but are bringing home less and less income?” asked Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.


“A significant wage hike, such as the P125 across-the-board wage hike that we have been clamoring for, still will not make workers’ compensation just. It is just an immediate relief from the rising prices of basic goods and services – yet the president has refused to heed our call,” he added.


KMU cited an April 2011 research released by independent think-tank Ibon Foundation saying that the P404 minimum wage in the National Capital Region is just 2/5 of the Family Living Wage which now stands at P988. Back in 2001, the proportion was 1/2, proof that workers’ living conditions have worsened.


Social justice


KMU said Pres. Aquino is not standing up for social justice but “elite justice” in invoking “just compensation” for landlords whose lands are subjected to land reform and in ignoring workers’ calls for a significant wage hike.


“It is disgusting to see and hear Pres. Aquino invoke elite justice in handling land reform and workers’ issues. It is social justice which should guide the government’s stands on these with its principles of equality, solidarity, human rights and wealth redistribution,” Soluta said.

“Social justice dictates that Pres. Aquino’s family surrender the Hacienda Luisita lands to farmers for an immediate, free and unconditional distribution. Social justice dictates that the president push for the passage of the P125 Wage Hike Bill currently pending in Congress,” he added.


KMU is pushing for the passage of House Bill 375, also known as the P125 Wage Hike Bill, filed by Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Rafael V. Mariano seeking to legislate a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide. Roger Soluta, KMU Secretary General

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