Militant labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) said it will hold nationwide rallies on Labor Day to express their dismay at President Rodrigo Duterte’s dealings with Chinese businessmen at the expense of Filipino workers, and to seek a pay raise and an end to contractualization. The protesters will demand a PHP750 (USD14.40) national daily minimum wage and a ban on contractualization, which they said Duterte once promised to end but has ignored. Elmer Labog, KMU chair, said rallies will be held in Metro Manila, the Bicol region, and the cities of Cebu, Davao, Baguio, and Bacolod, among others. Labog, reacting on the investment deals Duterte made in China, said wages will not increase if the Philippines heavily depends on foreign investment, as investors prefer wages to be as low as possible. Other labor groups, including the BPO Industry Employees Network, Kilos na Manggagawa, and the Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines, also demanded a PHP750 daily minimum wage for Metro Manila workers at the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board recently. Furthermore, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines sought an across-the-board daily pay hike of PHP710.
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