October 27, 2008
The militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) called for a historic reversal of the strategy of labor export as the government-sponsored Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) opened its first day.
“A one-time big-time rollback of the failed policy of labor export is just as urgent and necessary as the bloated prices of oil. It is time to think out of the box and shift to domestic full employment instead of promoting overseas employment,” declared Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson at the big rally led by Solidarity Action of Labor Against GFMD (SALAG).
PM opposes the GFMD since it alleged that the main problem it is trying to solve is how to profit from remittances not how to protect migrants. “It would have been funny if it were not tragic that the GFMD is steadfastly fascinated with the neoliberal agenda even though the bankruptcy of globalization has been exposed by the financial meltdown and economic recession in the US and the world,” Magtubo asserted.
He added that “Furthermore, the GFMD had allotted more seats for big businesses with interests in the remittances of migrant workers compared to labor groups with an advocacy for migrant issues.”
A thousand members of PM, including members of the Fortune Tobacco Labor Union and unions from Valenzuela City, participated in the big mobilization. About a hundred representatives of labor centers of other countries and global union groups like the ICEM, BWI, IMF, EI, UNI, PSI, ITGLWF, ITF, IUF and the ITUC headed the rally together with local labor leaders and migrants’ advocates.
According to Judy Ann Miranda, secretary-general of PM, “Today organized labor in the Philippines and in the world have linked up in arms in solidarity with the cause of migrant workers who are predominantly unorganized and largely unprotected. The formation of SALAG and the mobilization of global unions is a first step in establishing a global movement of workers and global unions that transcend borders that is a key tactic in promoting migrant workers rights and welfare worldwide.”
PM supports the three SALAG and global union demands for an end to the policy of promoting overseas employment; a stop to the deregulation of the labor export industry; and decent work and pay, and the right to organize and bargain for all migrant workers.
Women members of PM will join a women-led rally tomorrow to again protest the GFMD.