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Solon: 4-day work week will lead to more contractualization

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A militant lawmaker on Monday slammed a measure that seeks to institutionalize a four-day work week, saying that it would be detrimental to worker's rights and result in more contractual employees.

In a statement, Bayan Muna party-list Representative Carlos Zarate warned that the measure would require longer work days without increase in salary.

"The proposed compressed work week will mean longer work hours per day and [will be] even more exhausting for workers. It means longer work days but the pay is the same," he said.

"Workers would have to endure more work in shorter periods and it is not good for the body. It also runs counter to the eight-hour work day that workers all over the world fought for in the past decades," he added.

The House of Representatives this week approved on third and final reading the said measure, in an attempt to promote business competitiveness, work efficiency and labor productivity.

Under the proposal, "[e]mployees shall be permitted to complete their working hours on a compressed work week scheme whereby the normal work week is reduced to less than six days but the total number of normal work hours per week shall remain at 48 hours."

This means employees can work for as much as 12 hours everyday for four days in order to complete 48 hours of work per week.

But for Zarate, the measure would only further promote contractualization, which he and his fellow leftist lawmakers have strongly opposed.

"This scheme would also induce more contractualization because a compressed work week would entice companies to get more non-regular workers into their labor force and gradually ease out regular workers," he said.

"We are one with workers in opposing this measure and we hope that this anti-worker proposal would be taken back and would not be approved by the Senate," he added.

During his campaign, President Rodrigo Duterte promised to put an end to contractualization.

Last March, the Department of Labor and Employment issued Department Order 174, which prohibits repeated hiring of employees by contractors under an employment contract of short duration that falls short of the mandated six months to qualify for regularization. — BM/KVD, GMA News

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