Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo today said the current economic situation, where workers have to grapple with rising prices and stagnant wages, as the compelling reasons for his proposal for a ten-hour, four-day work week, or 10/4.
“In my consultations with my constituents, who are mostly workers from the depressed communities in my congressional district, the common complaint is that they could hardly have both ends meet because of rising prices and stagnant wages,” Castelo said.
“As their elected representative and public servant, I could only share their frustration and hardship, but the imperative is to do something and help them at the soonest possible,” Castelo said.
“Legislating wage hikes is definitely an option, but employers are averse to the idea; giving them additional benefits is another option, but some sectors are opposed to it,” Castelo said.
“Given the time constraint, we have to be most creative and innovative in our approach to help the working class. We have to come out with novel and fresh but workable ideas that could at least ease the economic pressures on our people,” Castelo said.
“I understand the apprehension and concern of the various sectors, which include the employers and organized labor, about 10/4. It’s normal for a novel idea to meet stiff opposition,” Castelo said.
“If we cannot agree on 10/4, the remaining option is to go back to legislating wage hikes,” Castelo said.
“But at the moment, let’s subject this proposal to serious and extensive discussions at the proper forum. The House committee on labor to which my bill has been assigned will conduct public hearings and consultations with various sectors to iron out and galvanize the various views and opinions about 10/4,” Castelo said.
“Let’s invite ordinary citizens to express their views and concern about 10/4. Let’s have a healthy and sustained debate on the proposal,” Castelo said. 30