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DoLE chief hit for opposing legislated pay hike

TWO of the country's biggest labor federations criticized Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma's position that salary increases should be left to the regional wage boards to decide to balance the interests of employers and workers better.

But while the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and the Federation of Free Workers are pushing for a legislated pay hike, the FFW does not agree with TUCP's call for Laguesma's ouster as labor chief.

«Laguesma can not be the secretary of labor and employers' poster boy against wage hike at the same time,» TUCP said in a statement. «Laguesma has been peddling and spewing lies that raising workers' wages would bring nothing but doom through massive inflation, unemployment, and business closures, acting as if he were the spokesman of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines.»

Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma. PHOTO BY MIKE ALQUINTO

«These are all false and mere speculations already demolished by the academe, think tanks, and economists as nonsensical technical inputs providing a smokescreen for unbridled corporate greed,» the TUCP said.

All wage hikes approved by the regional boards this year were below the poverty threshold set by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and well below the estimated living wage of the National Wages and Productivity Commission.