The dignity of work must be protected and fundamental rights of workers must be respected at all times

A factory worker sought the help of Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian following a report that the former received his P1,056 salary in centavo coins. Photo from Valenzuela PIO.
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The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research urges local governments to promote safety, respect and dignity for all at work, after Next Green Factory Management paid a Valenzuela factory worker its salary in bags of centavo coins. 

Yesterday, a Facebook post by a certain Odniemrud Eniger, who is a cousin of the factory worker, went viral after it sought the help of Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian regarding the incident.

“Sadly, unfair and sometimes humiliating treatments exist in workplaces, and workers are reprimanded when they speak of such incidents instead of being encouraged to stand up for their rights,” said Rochelle Porras, Executive Director of EILER. 

The labor NGO also pointed out that labor flexibilization makes workers more vulnerable to these kinds of unfair labor practices as their fundamental labor rights such as right to decent and living wages, and right to organize are suppressed.

EILER noted that the incident exposed a number of violations of labor standards. The worker is paid only P528 a day and worked for 12 hours without benefits and night differentials. However, the minimum wage in NCR is at P 537, and that is already 49% below P1,057 or the family living wage.

“Whatever the reason of the management of Next Green Factory, paying the worker that way is inhumane and is against the law. In every action and intention, the dignity of work must be protected and fundamental rights of workers must be respected at all times,” added Porras. 

EILER lauds the local government in assisting the factory worker and hopes that the issue will be investigated.

“We hope that Valenzuela City and other LGUs join forces with labor rights defenders, too, to foster a world of work where justice and dignity for all workers prevails. We must hold those who violate labor rights accountable and ensure that workers rights and welfare are protected,” Porras ended.

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