The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) called on employers to grant paid leave to workers affected by the closure of ecozones in the province of Cavite. “Foreign investors should shoulder temporary losses due to the COVID pandemic,” asserted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.
The biggest export complex in the country, the Cavite Economic Zone in the town of Rosario, shuttered last night while the First Cavite Industrial Estate in Dasmarinas will close at 5:00 pm today. “We estimate that some 100,000 workers from the two ecozones are affected by the lockdown,” Magtubo said.
He added that “Employers have benefited from recent economic growth without sharing the bounty with their workers. This was revealed in a Department of Finance study showing labor productivity grew by at least 50 percent, yet real wages were stagnant from 2001 to 2016. Moreover, foreign investors in the ecozones enjoyed tax breaks and other privileges for years. Now that there is a crisis, employers are morally obliged not to pass on the burden to their hapless workers.”
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