Workers call for higher wages in pre-poll rally

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MANILA, May 1, 2016 – Close to a thousand people in support of the clamor for higher wages for workers gathered in a rally in Manila just days before the elections on May 9.

On the 114th celebration of Labor Day, the mobilization made its way from the Mendiola Arch to the Manila Post Office with several more groups joining along the way.

It’s been 26 years since I started joining Labor Day celebrations, every year together with my fellow workers, we voice out our right to sufficient wages and enough benefits,” said Fernando Gamboa, one of the participants, in Filipino.

“We, as citizens believe that our minimum wage is not enough to feed and support our families,” he added.

May 1 has become synonymous to workers’ rallies where they are able to express their concerns in an annual show of force.

“I have been joining for 30 years now. We continuously fight for the rights of the workers, especially the insufficient amount of our wages,” said Ruffo Galera, another participant.

Albert Pargan, a first time participant attended with the belief and hope that they will be heard if they continue their efforts.

“I want change, no more corruption. I believe there is a chance for progress,” he said.

“Before, workers fought the 12-hour work schedule and demanded 8 hours, now it’s 8 hours. Now we fight for sufficient and just wages for every worker,” said Gamboa in Filipino.

“There are positive changes, it may be slow, but we are slowly being heard,” he added. (Chrixy Paguirigan / CBCPNews)

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