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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An Open Letter to the Next Elected Officials: Stop the Marginalization of Filipino Workers

I find it to be morally wrong and indecent for a large company to enjoy record profit and achieve unprecedented growth and expansion while a majority of workers are marginalized with no security of tenure, very little or no benefits and have no share in the company's gains. See that I did not use the word employee because for most of these companies, the so-called marginalized workers who work for them are not their employees. They are employees of staffing agencies who pay them anywhere from below to just about the minimum wage.

It is easy to pinpoint who these companies are because they are among the largest in the Philippines. They enjoy tremendous growth and are said to have contributed a lot in terms of employment. It is easy to think that they contributed to the economy but I don't think so.  This is perhaps the reason why despite the government's claims that the country's economy is improving. Poverty and hunger continue to increase. The reason I believe, is that only the wealthy owners of profitable companies enjoy the growth. For most of them, there is no mechanism for sharing financial gains to their sales clerks, factory workers, janitors, security guards, service crew, gas boys, farm hands, peons, etc. This is why a lot of our citizens, despite their being employed do not have much purchasing power and cannot avail of even their basic needs.

Don't get me wrong. I am not against growth and profit. My fervent wish is for all companies in the Philippines to be profitable so they can pay their employees better. What I stand for is fair gain sharing. I am for non-circumvention of a company's moral responsibility to take care of the people who work for them by giving them the pay and benefits they deserve and reward them for their contribution. Business should not be about profit at all cost. It should be about profit with conscience.

There ought to be a law that will stop the marginalization of Filipino workers. There ought to be a law that will require companies to share gains with their workers. There ought to be a law that incentivize companies for regularizing employees and giving them benefits. When this happens, large profitable companies will probably experience a momentary reduction of profit but things should improve fast because wealth is shared, people will have more money to spend or invest, then there will be more money to flow back into businesses. The bottom line, the country's economic growth will be spread not only among the oligarchs but among the workers who help make all these possible.

We need a good law that will motivate the employees to help their companies because they know they will have a fair share of the profit. I believe that a law on gain sharing will be far better than across-the-board salary increases because it will not break the back of small and unprofitable companies. It will also teach our workers to be more diligent and strive to contribute more to company productivity and profitability.

The nation's human resources are important cogs in the country's economic machinery. They are part of both production and consumption. When they are given more power to consume, the economy benefits from it. When they are motivated to produce, the economy benefits from it. I pray that our next elected government officials will take a more caring look at their situation and make appropriate laws to help them.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, Ed. I think there's something very wrong with this contractual arrangement as an industry standard. Maybe there should be a Party List representing these group of workers.


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