2013-05-01 17:06:45

Filipino workers hail Cardinal Tagle's Labor Day message

(May 01, 2013) In the Philippines the leftist workers' group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), or May 1st Movement, hailed Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle for "showing sympathy to the plight of the country’s workers" and supporting their calls. The Manila archbishop celebrated Mass for workers in the central district of Quiapo on May 1. Bishop Broderick Pabillo, head of the bishops' social action secretariat, meanwhile, urged the government to increase minimum wages, so that ordinary people can feel the government's claim of a growing economy. "It’s really one issue that the government should face this Labour Day, if they really want an even growth for everybody and not just for the few," Cardinal Tagle said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Labour groups held huge protests on May 1, seeking a wage increase of up to $3 a day. Bishop Pabillo said the daily minimum wage of $11 in Metro Manila is less than half of the estimated $24 daily cost of living. Cardinal Tagle earlier outlined the social teachings of the Church on labour and expressed the Church’s compassion toward workers. He said workers are “the most important part of production” and while the growth of the financial aspect of production is important, it should not be a reason to exploit them.

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