Forced Leave: My First in 16 Years

Today is the first day of my forced leave. I’ve been working so long for this firm I never thought I’d see the day I wouldn’t go to work because I was ordered not to. Today, I did.

Yesterday, when our project manager told us the news, I immediately felt angry. I felt betrayed. I felt ingratitude on the part of the employer. Although the managers admitted it only after some arguments between management and our group, the forced leaves were aimed to cut costs for the month of December.

As all of us Pinoys know, December is full of regular holidays. For hourly-paid employees, the computation is simple. They get 100 percent of their daily rate even if they don’t work on these holidays, as long as they were at work the day before the holidays.

In our firm, which is a U.S. based Indian-managed data conversion service provider, we’re not paid by the hour. We’re paid by the number of short articles that we write. We’re regulars and we get benefits most other employees in Metro Manila get.

Our holiday payments are computed by dividing by seven our total payments for the seven days before the holiday. This year, there are six holidays during the Christmas/New Year week: Dec 25, Dec 26, Dec 29, Dec 30, Dec 31, Jan 1.

Imagine if we produce work worth 1,000 pesos per day as what happens if we do our best?  We would get a total of 6,000 pesos from the holidays!

But that won’t happen now. We’re already on forced leave.

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