Labour day is rather boring. For as far back as I can remember, Labour day is always greeted by much fun fare by the militant left. It doesn’t matter who sits in the Palace, the battle cry is always more of the same old theme. “We want more wages.” It is militant labour in its trite song that has gone out of fashion, but many still fall for its false gospel.
It is rather expectant of them to do so isn’t it?
The gospel that militant labour believes in is labour is a right and a privilege. The employer, employee relationship is like any other human relationship. We form friendships, or form partnerships or get into a marriage because there is something both sides need. We serve at the pleasure of our companies, but it also goes without saying that companies have no right to abuse their employees. What is fair should be given.
Never mind of course that more wages would almost always translate to goods going up. Never mind of course that the problem with labour. We already have labour laws that presume much for the laborer. You can’t fire someone for instance without at least three warnings, or else your company finds itself in trouble with the National Labor Relations Commission.
Whatever happened to fair?
Whatever happened to justice?
The 2010-2011 Global Competitiveness Report scored the Philippines’ Labor market efficiency at 3.9 out of 7 or ranked 111 out of 139 economies surveyed. (see The Global Competitiveness Report 2010-2011 for the full report). The hiring and firing practices for example is ranked 116. The flexibility of wage determination is at 96. Labor in the Philippines is a huge problem one that the labor sector and the government working hand in hand must deal with. This rigidity in labor laws ought to be a huge concern. And this is why the gospel of militant labour is absolutely wrong, and stuck in the past. It does not serve labour well, nor does it really advance the Filipino laborer’s best interest because I posit: they cling to old cliches!
The dialogue that the President has laid down ought to be a first step. Perhaps the second step is to ask Congress to review Philippine Labour laws, and to bring it forward. We cannot afford a nation that no one wants to hire.