Philippines union seeks 12 percent wage rise

AFP, Saturday 25 May 2002, 11:06 AM

The Philippines' largest trade union called for a 12 percent increase in the minimum daily wage of 250 pesos (about five dollars).

The wages of the workers are very low. We need an increase now, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines chairman Democrito Mendoza told DZBB radio here on Saturday.

The lowest wage earners in Manila earn between 250 and 290 pesos a day, while workers outside the capital earn even less. The World Bank said more than 45 percent of the Philippines' population of nearly 80 million earn less than two dollars a day.

Mendoza said Filipino workers need a 30-peso increase, nothing less.

More than one-fourth of the labor force are unemployed or under-employed—having part-time jobs that add up to less than 40 hours a week.