Tipping is a sad relic of American culture that Filipinos have embraced. Indeed, Filipino workers have gone further and perverted the concept by seeing tips as an entitlement rather than a mere pleasant surprise bonus from happy customers.
Most disturbing of all is how “activists” encouraged people to tip workers on, of all occasions, labour day. Labour day, after all, is a celebration of the dignity of the worker. Dignity of labour is premised on one taking pride in a job well-done. Unfortunately, labour “activists” have turned the occasion into one focused on compensation. Thus the whole point behind celebrating labour has turned away from the underlying honour in doing an honest day’s work into one about entitlement beyond the worth of one’s work.
Filipino leftists and hipsters have made “low wages” a primary issue of labour. This is, however, not the case. The low value of wages in the Third World is not the issue. It is more a symptom of issues to do with worker productivity and the quality of their output. The low quality of Philippine products, for example, is legendary. Indeed, the biggest irony of all is in the way the very hipsters who issue cliché Labour Day slogans on Twitter are the very ones who shun Philippine products and embrace Western brands like lemmings running off a cliff.
The Philippine economy of course runs on the back of a free market. There is an indisputably strong case for consumers preferring foreign products and brands over their local counterparts. Philippine industry quite simply lacks the level of innovation and standards of quality applied to the production and marketing of its products and services evident in the world’s top brands. Thus where there is weak demand, there is less leverage to command higher prices in a free market.
Then there is the enormous numbers of Filipino workers competing for employment. An enormous supply crushes the value of that supply. One labour “activist” laments how employers can “afford” to pay their workers more but prefer not to. That attitude is so wrong on many levels. A worker is not entitled to wages any higher than what an employer opts to legally pay her. A worker can only earn a raise — not demand it.
It’s simple, really.
If you do not get that salary raise you’ve been asking for, it means your employer does not consider you worth the additional expense and regards you as an easily replaceable commodity.
Deal with it. We signed up to the free market, and we should live by the free market. The only way Filipino workers will get better wages is if they become better more productive, and more competitive workers. Yet, instead, we see workers who find no shame in asking for tips and demanding that cash be enclosed in those obnoxious “Merry Christmas” envelopes they give out every year. It’s because labour “activists” encourage that distasteful behaviour.
Filipino activists need to face the truth: their traditional Labour Day rhetoric is unhealthy to the national work ethic and, worst of all, intellectually dishonest.
[Photo courtesy Inquirer.net.]
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.