May Day: Workers decry discrimination, unfair labor practises in Cotabato, Maguindanao
COTABATO CITY – A labor group called Kilos Bayan has decried Monday the inaction of the Department of Labor and Employment against erring establishments that continue to discriminate against Muslims and tribal people in Cotabato City in southern Philippines.
Goldie Omelio, media liaison for the Kilos Bayan, said discrimination is still widespread here and added that they brought this to the attention of the government agency, but it failed to act on their complaints.
Omelio said many establishments here and in Maguindanao province were also not paying their employees the minimum wage as provided by law. Worst, many of these employees earn as little as P100 a day which is a far cry from the daily minimum wage of P295, while some working at groceries were being forced to buy commodities in the store and payments deducted from their salaries.
Speaking over a radio program at dxMS Radyo Bida, Omelio said: “Maliban dito, marami ding mga non-agricultural establishment sa Cotabato City at Maguindanao ang hindi nagbibigay ng tamang pa sweldo na itinatakda ng Department of Labor and Employment in Region 12. Nasa P295 kada araw ang minimum wage, nasa mahigit 100 lamang umano ang pasahod ang ilang mga establisimiyento na nasa Cotabato City. Malaking paglabag umano ito sa karapatan ng maraming mga manggagawa,” Omelio said.
Dozens of Kilos Bayan members also held a sit down protest in Cotabato City to dramatize the plight of the workers. The Department of Labor and Employment is yet to issue a statement on the allegations of Kilos Bayan. (Rhoderick Beñez)
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