Monday, July 25, 2016

Workers call for war vs endo; respect for human rights in war vs drugs

On the occasion of the opening of the new Congress and the SONA speech of President Rodrigo Duterte, the workers group Partido Manggagawa (PM) called on the government to wage a vigorous war against contractualization and poverty. At the same time, it urged that human rights and due process be respected in the war on drugs in the wake of hundreds of extra-judicial killings since the new President was elected.

PM members from Metro Manila and Calabarzon are joining a multisectoral mobilization from various militant groups. They will assemble at 1:00 pm along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City and then march towards Batasang Pambansa.

“Ikulong ang mga tulak ng endo at contractualization lords. Buhayin wag patayin ang human rights. Ito ang panawagan ng mga manggagawa,” urged Rene Magtubo, PM chair.

PM is also leading a mobilization of workers and poor in Cebu today to urge the administration to deliver on its campaign promise of ending contractualization. At the same time, PM in Cebu is calling for a stop to the wave of extra-judicial killings. Yesterday, the spouse of one PM-Cebu  leader was killed by police.

“Every Filipino deserves their day in court. Instead hundreds of poor people are being massacred in the course of the war on drugs,” declared Dennis Derige, PM-Cebu spokesperson.

“Contractualization, just like drugs, destroys lives, wreaks families and ruins the future of the youth. How can a decent life for a family be sustained when breadwinners are endos who are paid poverty wages without benefits and who lose their jobs after five months? We would like to see big time pushers of contractualization, among whom are the richest capitalists, be penalized as criminals,” exclaimed Magtubo.

Last July 1, PM and other labor and church groups held a rally at the Department of Labor and Employment and presented a 10-point proposal to end endo in a bid to engage the new administration on the contractualization issue.


The group’s SONA mobilization today is part of its anti-endo contractualization. PM vowed to escalate the campaign against endo and win pending labor dispute such as the outsourcing row at Philippine Airlines.

July 25, 2016

Friday, July 1, 2016

Church-Labor Conference urges new labor officials to walk the endo talk

On the first day of the Duterte administration, the Church-Labor Conference (CLC) is urging it to start the work on implementing the campaign promise of ending endo.

The CLC, an aggrupation of labor and church groups in the country, is pressing the new set of labor officials to begin the process of stamping out ‘endo’ practices in many industries in close coordination with the trade union movement as well as with other labor dignity advocacy groups around the country. 

The call was made during the #EndEndo #WalkTheEndoTalk action initiated by the CLC at DOLE offices in Intramuros this morning where newly-appointed labor officials render their first day in office.

Established during the height of the global financial crisis in 2009, CLC has become an active member of the Technical Executive Committee (TEC) of the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (NTIPC).  CLC is co-chaired by Partido Manggagawa (PM) Chair Renato Magtubo and Manila Auxillary Bishop Broderick Pabillo.

In a statement the CLC expressed its full support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to stop labor contractualization in the country.  It also welcomes the appointments of Sec. Silvestre Bello III and Joel Maglungsod to head the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

“Contractualization of labor, specifically the practices of unscrupulous employers that directly violate or circumvent labor laws and regulations pertaining to labor contracting and regularization of employment are arguably the gravest threat to our workers’ right to security of tenure,” said CLC.

Contractualization, the group added, is a problem that renders futile the exercise of workers’ other constitutional rights to freedom of association, bargain collectively, concerted action, and living wage. 

“Like the menace of illegal drugs and criminality in the country, it must be stopped! Otherwise, we will become a nation of endos where workers are deprived of their constitutional rights to gainful and productive employment,” stressed the group.

The CLC, however, concedes that addressing contractualization of labor is not that simple as it requires complex and sustainable solutions.  But the group believes that cooperation and the strong resolve of like-minded stakeholders is very important in getting rid of the endo menace.

As a starter the CLC has submitted its 10-Point recommendations for the new DOLE leadership:

(1) Conduct a nationwide labor consultation of workers in the private and public sector aimed at (a) threshing out employment schemes workers have encountered during employment that violates and/or circumvents labor laws and regulations pertaining to labor contracting and regularization of employment; (b) generating proposals to address violation and circumvention of labor laws and regulations; and (c) establishing mechanisms to encourage workers’ participation to President Duterte’s campaign to end contractualization of labor.

(2) Work for the certification by President Duterte of anti-endo bills that are going to be filed in Congress that will strengthen workers’ security of tenure in the private and public sector.

(3) Launch a massive and sustained information and education campaign to workers and employers on the present labor laws and regulations pertaining to labor contracting and regularization of employment.

(4) Conduct a nationwide and sustained inspection of all labor contractors and service providers registered with the DOLE and other government agencies aimed at (a) finding out whether they are compliant with the existing labor laws and regulations pertaining to labor contracting and regularization of employment; and (b) filing cases to violators.

(5) Conduct a nationwide and sustained inspection of all factories and establishments inside and outside of the private and public industrial estates and/or zones aimed at (a) finding out whether they are employing contractual workers and as such compliant with existing labor laws and regulations pertaining to labor contracting and regular employment; and (b) filing cases to violators.

(6) Formulate policies and guidelines to speed-up resolution of cases under the DOLE quasi-judicial bodies on violations of labor laws and regulations pertaining to labor contracting and regularization of employment.

(7) Urgently resolve pending cases and labor disputes related to contractualization.

(8) Establish a separate mechanism comprised of among others representative of unions, the DOLE and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) that will assess and address rampant use of contractual or other forms of non-regular employment in the public sector.

(9) Train and deputize labor leaders to become part of the DOLE pool of inspectors who are mandated to conduct inspections and provide reports and/or recommendations on violations of labor laws and regulations.

(10) Institutionalize the role of tripartite formations in the country as partner of the DOLE in accomplishing President Duterte’s campaign promise to end contractualization of labor.

Church-Labor Conference
July 1, 2016

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Renaming DOLE uncomforting - labor group


A labor group on Wednesday finds itself uncomfortable with the proposal of incoming labor secretary Silvestre Bello to rename the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to Department of Labor and Management or of Employers, purportedly to provide employers the ‘comfort zone’ in doing their business in the country.
 
Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) Chair Renato Magtubo said, “It is, on the contrary, the workers who feel uncomfortable dealing with DOLE because of its perceived industry capture. Renaming it to reaasure business of government protection is another way of portraying the agency as partisan to labor or of labor being a recalcitrant industrial partner condoned by government.”
 
Magtubo added:  “It is performance and not the name that defines DOLE.  If workers are not happy with the department because of rampant labor law violations then business is assumed to be more comfortable with the current setup that allows unbriddled exercise of management prerogative.”
 
The labor leader meanwhile urged Bello to facilitate the holding of a labor summit or to sitdown with different labor groups so he can hear the side of workers.
 
“The new government has already met and made economic commitments with business CEOs in Davao. Now it’s time to hear the soldiers of industry who are the workers and laborerers doing the actual production on the ground.”

21 June 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016

Cavite EPZA garments workers conclude CBA after days of protests


Kudos to the workers of garments factory Faremo International Inc. in the Cavite EPZA for winning their remaining demands and concluding a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) after days of protests and the threat of a strike.

"What we failed to achieve in more than three months of bargaining at the table, we won with the help of three days of mass protests by union members who wore red ribbons at work to express their fervent demand for a decent CBA and were determined to go on strike if necessary," explained Jessel Autida, president of the Faremo labor union.

He added that "Salamat sa pagkakaisa at pagkilos ng mga manggagawa ng Faremo, member man ng unyon o hindi. We owe this victory to their unity and action."

The Faremo workers won their demand for retirement pay, paid leaves and other monetary benefits. These issues were previously unresolved and caused the deadlock in the CBA negotiations.

Last Monday the Faremo union filed a notice of strike due to CBA deadlock and workers also started tying red ribbons in their shirts or around their heads. The ribbon protest continued until last Wednesday when the DOLE/NCMB called for a factory level mediation hearing to resolve the strike threat.

While the negotiations proceeded, hundreds of workers who clocked out of work stayed just outside the factory gate to show support for the union panel. The conclusion of the CBA negotiations was met with joy by the Faremo workers. The notice of strike has been withdrawn by the union while the draft CBA will next be submitted for formal ratification by the union members.

Faremo is a subsidiary of the Korean multinational Hansoll and produces for global garments brands Gap, JC Penney and Kohl's. Aside from the Philippines, Hansoll has factories in Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

May 27, 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

PALEA calls on Duterte to keep “end endo” promise in a rally near NAIA Terminal 2


To jumpstart the campaign against endo or contractualization at the Philippines Airlines (PAL), the union Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) picketed the company’s Inflight Center (IFC) near the NAIA Terminal 2. The renewed actions are spurred on by the promise of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to end endo.

Last year, just before Duterte run for president, he met leaders of PALEA in Davao and expressed his opposition to contractualization. PALEA and the militant group Partido Manggagawa (PM) are now asking the President elect to make good on his promise to stop contractualization.

Some 100 PALEA members held a rally on the road leading to the Terminal 2 for about one hour and then marched on to the PAL Nichols office to continue the protest until noon. Later in the afternoon, PALEA officers attended at mediation hearing at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board regarding the pending labor dispute with PAL.

Bong Palad, PALEA national secretary said that “PALEA is calling on PAL to comply with the settlement agreement they offered to PALEA and forged by the two parties in 2013. Specifically PALEA demands the implementation of the re-employment provision in the agreement.”

In September 2011, some 2,600 PAL regular workers were terminated and outsourced to become agency workers. After a two-year fight, PALEA and PAL forged a deal to settle the labor dispute of 2011 yet some 600 retrenched members have not been re-employed as provided for in the agreement.

PM also challenged on Duterte to prove that “change is coming” by rectifying the injustice committed by outgoing president Benigno Aquino who approved the PAL outsourcing scheme   and later threatened an economic sabotage case against PALEA for launching a protest that paralyzed flights.

PM chair Rene Magtubo argued that “A clear and determined path to end endo will be set if the contractualization scheme and scam at PAL is reversed.  by implementation of the settlement agreement with PALEA.”

Photos of the rally can be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/jerry.bagsic/posts/1133381940025534

May 26, 2016