• ‘Govt will become exploiters of workers’

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    The government will become exploiters of workers if they will just give 75 percent of the applicable minimum wage in the region devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda, the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) said.

    FFW President lawyer Sonny Matula said that the cash-for-work program of the government implemented in typhoon-affected areas should “pay workers at least the minimum wage in the region.”

    “Not giving the minimum wage will only make workers in the Visayas victims all over again and will expose government as an exploiter of workers’ rights,” Matula said.

    Based on reports, the National Economic Development Authority has proposed that the displaced workers will only be paid 75 percent of the applicable minimum wage in the region.

    The Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, however, insisted that a 100 percent of the minimum wage in Tacloban should be given to thousands of the displaced workers.

    “If the reports are verified, government needs to explain why it would not give the full wage due to the workers,” he said.

    In the livelihood clustered meeting of the United Nations agencies, government, trade unions and other relief agencies have raised the issue, concerning the cash-for-work programs in Tacloban and other areas ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda.

    Robertzon F. Ramirez

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