Successful campaign of sugarcane farm workers in Negros

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Paghimakas, revolutionary publication in the Negros island, reported that farm workers will start to benefit this month from their dialogue with a landlord last September 2020 to demand wage increase. In line with their calls, their daily wage was raised from ₱150-₱170 to ₱200.

Additionally, they also won a raise in the daily wage for plowing to ₱300 from ₱250-₱270; ₱900 for planting ten thousand sugarcane tops from ₱700-₱800; and ₱350 for reaping and stevedoring from ₱320-₱330. More than 200 farm workers from 11 sitios in four barrios are set to benefit from this.

A research by Paghimakas revealed that the said plantation has a capacity to produce 230 metric tons of sugar for every 20 hectares within two planting seasons which can be sold for a total of ₱5.98 million. Before the dialogue, 45% of this (₱2.7 million) went to the landlord, and 30% went to the sugar central (₱1.8 million). The remaining 20% (₱1.2 million) is shared by the farm workers.

In a related story, hundreds of members of the Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) in the town of Sta. Maria, Isabela filed a complaint at the City Council of Isabela last May to oppose “slave-like wages” and inhumane treatment in plantations. According to the group, farm workers in one plantation in the area receive less than ₱200 daily.

They also demanded the reinstatement of 287 farm workers who were laid off last August 2019 after sugar barons in northern Isabela and southern Cagayan into a contract with Green Future Innovations-Ecofuel for the production of bioethanol covering 1,696 hectares of sugarcane plantations.

Successful campaign of sugarcane farm workers in Negros