• Melo Acuna

NAGKAISA supports Salceda bill

Labor groups reject compressed work week

MANILA – NAGKAISA, a broad coalition of labor organizations favors a proposal to reduce work week of private sector employees to 35 hours on voluntary basis under House Bill 309 penned by Albay 2nd District Congressman Jose Sarte Salceda.

It will be recalled Congressman Salceda said studies show a more flexible workweek increases the workers’ productivity and bound to benefit the economy in the long-term.

Atty. Sonny Matula, NAGKAISA chair, said their support for a shorter work-day from eight to six hours in not new as proposed by the Bicolano lawmaker. The practice has already been going on in France, Denmark, Sweden and other Scandinavian countries.

“Workers in Toyota in Gothenburg, Sweden who observed six (6)-hour a day are happier and more efficient and productive,” he said. Citing reports from BBC and The Guardian five years ago, Matula said Toyota has pioneered the six-hour workday concept and with 15 years of experience, they have had higher profits, better production and quality.

NAGKAISA suggests that a non-diminution of benefit provision shall be added in Section 1as the workers shall have the equivalent workload and shall observe the same performance standards like those working on an eight (8) hour workday.

The group said they oppose House Bill No. 1338 which seeks a compressed workweek allowing more than eight (8)-hour work a day sans overtime premium. Atty. Matula said should the proposal becomes a law, it would take a toll on the majority of the country’s workers. Such a proposal will not do any good for people in construction, masons, bus drivers and those involved in lifting heavy loads. The bill calls for more than eight hours but not to exceed 12 hours of work per day without overtime premium, and would run counter to International Labour Standards.

“It will affect the workers’ health and may be counter-productive in the long run,” he further explained.

He explained after the lockdown, under the present eight (8)-hour work, a worker arrives home at 9 or 10:00 P.M. due to heavy traffic, child care may be next to impossible. (Melo M. Acuña)

Atty. Sonny Matula, Chairman, NAGKAISA. (Screen Grab from Tapatan sa Aristocrat)

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