Friday, July 31, 2009

Militants say mass layoffs, labor unrest in Cebu belie SONA claims on economy

Press Release
July 31, 2009

The militant labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) argued that the continuing mass layoffs in the country and the labor unrest in Cebu expose the lie behind President Gloria Arroyo’s rosy claims about economic growth in her SONA last Monday. Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson, said, “The mass layoffs and labor unrest belie the SONA assertions about robust economic growth. Thousands of workers are unemployed with the closure of Triumph in Taguig and Celestica in Cebu. Also thousands of Cebuano workers of Exas, an electronics factory on temporary shutdown, have been out of work for four months while more are threatened with retrenchment in Taiyuden, another electronics firm also in Mactan Export Processing Zone I (MEPZ I).”

He also slammed Celestica, a Canadian-owned multinational electronics firm, for being a “heartless giant that throws its workers like rags after wringing all the value from them.” Magtubo added, “Celestica is a poster firm against revising the Constitution to allow foreign capital more rights in exploiting the natural and human resources of the country.”

This morning 39 agency workers of Celestica filed illegal dismissal cases against the company and claims for separation pay at the National Labor Relations Commission branch in Cebu. Romeo Moritcho, Jr., who led the agency workers, said “Since Celestica ignored our petition and did not respond to our protest, we are thus filing a case of illegal dismissal in order to claim the separation pay that is due us.”

More agency workers are expected to join the illegal dismissal case in the coming days. The agency workers are alleging that they are regular employees of Celestica since they have worked for several years at the company under the direction and control of Celestica management. They are demanding a termination pay of 45 days per year of service, similar to the separation package of regular workers of Celestica that is due to shutdown on August 31.

Yesterday around 50 workers picketed the MEPZ I gates and the office of Cebu General Services, the agency that contracts work for Celestica. In a dialogue yesterday between the protesting workers and representatives of the Philippine Export Zone Authority, the latter relayed a message from Celestica that management has already forwarded all the benefits due agency workers to Cebu General Services. The management of Celestica boycotted the dialogue. Later in a discussion with Cebu General Services during the picket, the agency claimed that they have not received a cent from Celestica for workers claims.

“Celestica and Cebu General Services are pointing at each other and neither is willing to come forward for its responsibilities to workers who have labored for years to make this multinational a US$8 billion company as of 2008. But the truth is that Celestica is our principal employer since Cebu General Services is simply a labor-only contractor. Cebu General does not own substantial capital in the form of tools and equipment, and does not exercise control and supervision over our work inside Celestica,” explained Moritcho, Jr.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Celestica agency workers hold protest to demand benefits

Press Release
July 30, 2009

Some 50 agency workers of Celestica, the big electronics firm at the Mactan Export Processing Zone I (MEPZ I) that is due to shutdown on August 31, today held a protest to demand termination pay similar to that will be received by regular employees. “Many of the less than 300 agency workers employed by Celestica have worked for several years doing the same work as regular employees, and under the control and direction of company management. By law and jurisprudence we are employees not of our agency, Cebu General Services, but of the principal, Celestica. Thus we deserve the same treatment and benefits as regular workers,” argued Romeo Moritcho, Jr., a leader of the protesting agency workers.

The agency workers did not report from work today and instead marched starting at 10 a.m. from Gate 1 to Gate 3 MEPZ I and then held a picket till noon. By 1 p.m. they trooped to the office of Cebu General Services at A. S. Fortuna, Mandaue City for another picket.

The contracts of the agency workers are to be terminated by Celestica on Friday and the Cebu General Services promises to redeploy them to new jobs at Pentax, which however is accepting only workers younger than 28 years while all the agency workers are above 30 years old. The agency workers are insisting that they receive the separation pay of 45 days per year of service to be given to regular Celestica workers.

The agency workers submitted a petition to Celestica management Thursday last week about their demands but the latter did not respond thus precipitating the protest today. Moritcho elaborated that “Filipino workers cannot be thrown out like rags by a giant multinational that generated almost US$8 billion in revenues last year after benefiting from our labor for many years on the superficial argument that we are the responsibility of our local agency. The ‘control test’ used in labor law jurisprudence makes us direct employees of Celestica not Cebu General Services which is in effect a labor-only contractor.”

Dennis Derige of Partido ng Manggagawa is appealing to Celestica to abide by its own “corporate social responsibility” and the Electronics Industry Code of Conduct (EICC). He added, “We are asking Celestica to follow its own statements. Craig Muhlhauser, Celestica President and Chief Executive Officer, said ‘Protecting and empowering people. Respecting the environment. Giving back to the community. Working with responsible partners. Our commitment to corporate social responsibility is pervasive in all we do.’ Also the EICC specifies that ‘Compensation paid to workers shall comply with all applicable wage laws, including those relating to minimum wages, overtime hours and legally mandated benefits.’ Agency workers deserve no more and no less than what are stipulated in these codes that Celestica bound itself to abide by.”

Monday, July 27, 2009

Militants depict GMA as H1N1 virus is SONA protests, say hunger survey reflects real state of the nation

Press Release
July 27, 2009

The militant labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) in its counter-SONA protest today depicted Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as an H1N1 virus that is fatal to the workers and the people. “The survey by the Social Weather Station on hunger reflects the real state of the people more than GMA’s SONA that will just be full of lies. That one in five Filipinos have experienced hunger in the last three months reveal that economic growth under GMA is a fairy tale that has not been felt by the masses,” argued Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson.

Members of PM together with groups such as Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino, Zone One Tondo Organization, United Cavite Workers Association and Samahan ng Mamamayan ng Calabarzon gathered in front of the Commission on Human Rights along Commonwealth Ave. just before noon. Later in the afternoon hundreds of union members of the Fortune Tobacco Labor Union joined the PM contingent.

The colorful protest by PM featured an effigy of GMA as an H1N1 virus that is a scourge on the country and Congress representatives as swine that the group alleged should all be quarantined to save the people from fatal infection. The group also depicted GMA as a CD scandal queen in memory of the Hello Garci controversy. PM members dressed as witches and fairies also cast spells on GMA ala Harry Potter style.

“We call on congress to focus on economic recession instead of charter revision. Workers and the poor are suffering from layoffs, contractualization, low wages and hunger while GMA and her allies in Congress plot to convene the constituent assembly and extend her term. GMA’s attention is on how to remain in power instead of how to solve the problem of unemployment and poverty,” added Magtubo.

PM vowed to physically block through protests any attempt to convene the constituent assembly. Magtubo warned that “The SONA protests are just a dress rehearsal for the mass actions that will erupt if GMA maneuvers to hold on to power by con-ass, martial law, state of emergency or some other means.”

Sunday, July 26, 2009

9th SONA: Most disinteresting but probably not the last for PGMA, labor group says

26 July 2009

A labor party-list group, Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), describes tomorrow’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Arroyo the most disinteresting one, but probably not her last.

“For one, nobody would try to listen to a valedictory address which leaves no meaning for the lives of the masang Pinoy as well as on the economic and political life of a nation long been longing for social change. For another, a desperate Gloria will not reveal her political plans in her SONA since tomorrow may not be her last,” said PM secretary-general Judy Ann Miranda.

Scorecards, according to Miranda, are not that relevant in tomorrow’s SONA because the President herself is aware of the awful truth that she failed to BEAT THE ODDS she boldly proclaimed in her previous SONAs. She also has no solution in averting the country’s drift towards recession.

The labor group believes that Mrs. Arroyo is not likely to step down to avoid prosecution and to protect the family’s investments, thus, “steps and schemes for extending herself beyond Constitutional limits are going to be very discreet especially if they are done through extraconstitutional way.”

PM was referring to published reports on the existence of a plot to set up a transition government being peddled to high government officials, the military and church leaders by no less than her national security adviser, Norberto Gonzales.

“Mas dapat basahin ang mga kilos at galaw ng administrasyon sa susunod na mga araw, kaysa sa mga istatistikang ihahapag niya ngayon,” said Miranda.

The group opposes the convening of Constituent Assembly to amend the Constitution. It also vows to defy another imposition of martial rule and is preparing their communities to any eventuality like this.

Tomorrow, PM members are joining the Laban ng Masa and Tindignation march from the Commission of Human Rights to Batasan. It's regional chapters in Ilo-ilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, Geneal Santos and Iligan City will also hold their own actions.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tondo urban poor hold noise barrage as build up for SONA protests

Press Release
July 25, 2009

Urban poor from Tondo, Manila held a community march around the area and then held at 5 p.m. along the R-10 road in Mabuhay a noise barrage against the plan to convene a constituent assembly and the threat of martial law. The noise barrage of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and the Zone One Tondo Organization (ZOTO), the oldest urban poor group in the country, is part of a build up for the counter-SONA protests on July 27 by the groups Laban ng Masa and TindigNation.

“We give Gloria Arroyo a failing grade of 5.0 for in the eight years of her term the plight of the poor have worsened. The poor do not feel any improvement. Our lives have changed but for the worse. More people are hungry not just poor, desperate not just hopeless. The poor cannot eat the positive GNP that government was bragging about the start of the global crisis,” argued Melba Arquisola, president of the ZOTO-Tondo chapter.

Protesters wore masks similar to those used in the Moriones festival to elicit the attention and support of bystanders. Tondo residents warmly received the protesters as the community march made its way from the inner streets to the R-10 road. The noise barrage at Mabuhay was enthusiastically welcomed by passers by and even drivers who honked their vehicle horns as a sign of support. The theme of the pre-SONA protests was opposition to the planned convening of a constituent assembly and the threat of the imposition of martial law.

Neneng Racines, a leader of PM-Tondo chapter, stated, “We should defend our freedoms and rights which is bound to be taken away in the event of the imposition of martial law. If the threat of martial law does not come to pass it can only be because of the people’s protests such as this noise barrage. We should make noise today or else tomorrow we will wake up with Gloria Arroyo retaining power forever as prime minister or a new dictator.”

“The mass actions today are not just a build up for the counter-SONA protest on Monday but also a preview of the nationwide outrage that will erupt in case the planned con-ass is actually summoned or martial law is truly imposed. We should defend our freedoms and rights that will be taken away in the event of the imposition of martial law. If the threat of martial law does not come to pass it can only be because of the people’s protests such as this noise barrage,” insisted Arquisola.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Workers lead nationwide pre-SONA protests vs. con-ass and martial law

Press Release
July 24, 2009

Militant workers and poor led many of the pre-SONA noise barrages launched today as a build up to the SONA protest on Monday. The theme of the pre-SONA protests was opposition to the planned convening of a constituent assembly and the threat of the imposition of martial law.

Renato Magtubo, national chairperson of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), averred “Between Avelino Cruz’s analysis and Ronaldo Puno’s denial, the former is more believable as far as the threat of martial law is concerned. Puno is just a palace sycophant who keeps on praising her empress while Cruz is the brave boy who told the ugly truth that the empress was actually not wearing any clothes. But the workers would go beyond Cruz’s advice to the soldiers not to follow illegal orders. The workers ask the soldiers to follow their conscience and support the people in the event they will overthrow a would-be dictator who plots to rule forever.”

PM joined other labor groups that are part of Manggagawa Kontra Chacha in a noise barrage in the early evening at Timog corner Morato in Quezon City. In the afternoon, hundreds of members of Fortune Tobacco Labor Union marched from the factory at Parang, Marikina to the busy area of Concepcion Church. Similar noise barrages were held in other working class areas like the Cavite Economic Zone in the town of Rosario, the Bicutan Market at Bicutan Interchange in the SLEX, 5th Avenue in Caloocan proper, Bukid Area in Caloocan City and Shopwise in Antipolo City.

Judy Ann Miranda, PM secretary general, stated, “Today the working class marches side by side with the middle class in indignation at Gloria Arroyo’s attempt to extend her term. So while students of Ateneo take time to protest outside the campus, the workers march from their factories and the poor demonstrate at their communities for the common agenda of defending civil liberties and resisting the return of dictatorship.”

Simultaneous protests were also staged in the cities of Ilo-ilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, General Santos City, Iligan City and in Cabanatuan City where students and faculty of Wesleyan University held a noise barrage in the afternoon.

“The mass actions today are not just a build up for the counter-SONA protest on Monday but also a preview of the nationwide outrage that will erupt in case the planned con-ass is actually summoned or martial law is truly impose. We should defend our freedoms and rights that will be taken away in the event of the imposition of martial law. If the threat of martial law does not come to pass it can only be because of the people’s protests such as this noise barrage,” insisted Miranda.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Urban poor hold noise barrage as build up for SONA protests

Press Release
July 22, 2009

More than a hundred urban poor from Paranaque trooped to the Bicutan market at the South Luzon Expressway interchange this afternoon and held a noise barrage in the early evening against the plan to convene a constituent assembly and the threat of martial law. The 6 p.m. noise barrage of the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino (AMP) and Tucuma Federation is part of a build up for the counter-SONA protests on July 27 by the group TindigNation and is a preview of the nationwide mass actions on Friday.

“We call on our fellow workers and Filipinos to join the noise barrage this afternoon and on Friday to show to the government our collective outrage against con-ass and martial law,” explained Robert Labrador, president of Tucuma Federation, community organization in Paranaque.

The mass action today started with a march from the Tucuma community at Barangay Merville. The Paranaque residents warmly received the protesters as the march made its way from the inner streets of Merville to the Bicutan interchange. The noise barrage at the Bicutan market was enthusiastically welcomed by passers by and even drivers who honked their vehicle horns as a sign of support.

Among the protests that will be part of the Friday nationwide mass actions are noise barrages in Welcome Rotonda by the Manggagawa Kontra Chacha, and PM-sponsored activities by hundreds of Fortune Tobacco workers at Marikina, Valenzuela unionists at Malinta exit, Rizal urban poor at Antipolo, and students and faculty in Cabanatuan City.

Romy Cabugnason, spokesperson of AMP, stated, “We should defend our freedoms and rights which is bound to be taken away in the event of the imposition of martial law. If the threat of martial law does not come to pass it can only be because of the people’s protests such as this noise barrage. We should make noise today or else tomorrow we will wake up with Gloria Arroyo retaining power forever as prime minister or a new dictator.”

Judy Ann Miranda, secretary general of PM, added, “National Security Adviser Bert Gonzales is not making a secret of but instead actively campaigning for his proposal of no-election and a transition government. Gloria Arroyo will remain in power as a member of the transition government. What Gonzales is not saying is that a no-election scenario and a transition government can only come in being on the crest a chaotic situation. So even while the bombings have stopped, speculation still abound as to who are its masterminds and if its part of a scenario building exercise."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Paul Yu workers claim partial victory in the agreement to end month-long dispute

Press Release
July 15, 2009

Four weeks of work stoppage over the suspension of seven leaders of the Paul Yu Workers Association ended last week with the workers accepting management’s offer of separation. In the agreement, 114 regular and contractual workers and 120 agency workers will receive 18 days per year of service in separation pay and a lump sum of P50,000 for a livelihood project of the association. The settlement is above management’s so-called final offer of 13 days only for regular and contractual workers and none for agency workers.

“This is only a partial victory but a victory nonetheless. We were not able to achieve the demand for reinstatement of suspended workers but the settlement will benefit all Paul Yu workers who participated in the protests including agency workers that management since the start was refusing to include in the terms of agreement. And due to the protests, the rest of the Paul Yu employees are now working five days a week instead of three, which was the main grievance of the workers,” explained Willy Dondoyano, president of the Paul Yu workers association.

The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) emphasized the fact that the Paul Yu struggle was a breakthrough in the workers movement in the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ). “This is the definitive end of the era of the MEPZ as a haven for docile labor where capitalists can ride roughshod over workers rights and labor standards without provoking a militant response from the workers. Already we know of at least two factories who sent feelers to their workers who were in the process of organizing that management was willing to meet labor’s demands as long as they do not go the way of Paul Yu. The struggle and sacrifice of the Paul Yu workers will ultimately benefit all the export zone workers,” stated Dennis Derige, spokesperson of PM-Cebu.

Dondoyano added, “A whole month without work and pay took its toll on the workers and their families. Though the workers would have wanted to continue the fight for the maximum demand of lifting of suspensions, we were forced to accept management’s offer of separation so we could have the means to start again. In fact no worker returned to work despite the pressure but some were obliged to look for new work instead of manning the picketlines.”

PM slammed DOLE and PEZA officials for dragging their feet in the case thus weakening the workers negotiating position. “Labor department and export zone officials turned a blind eye to the illegal suspensions and labor standards violations. Even the small victory in the workers claims on unpaid benefits was not enforced by labor officials pending the results of the negotiations on management’s offer of separation,” argued Derige.

Dondoyano thanked the people who supported the struggle. “The support and solidarity of fellow workers inside and outside the MEPZ, labor groups abroad and even media workers who gave a sympathetic coverage of the labor dispute are a crucial factor in sustaining the fight,” he elaborated. In the month-long strike, the Washington DC-based International Labor Rights Forum, Clean Clothes Campaign of Europe, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America and the San Francisco Labor Council were among those who sent letters of protests aside from more than a thousand unionists from more than 50 countries who signed the online appeal.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Las Pinas urban poor march on City Hall vs. demolitions, hold noise barrage vs. con-ass

Press Release
July 9, 2009
Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino

Some 300 urban poor marched early this afternoon on the Las Pinas city hall in time for a city council session to demand a local moratorium on demolitions. The march-rally was spearheaded by community organizations at Manggahan in Brgy. Pamplona II and Veraville in Brgy. Pulang Lupa II. The Manggahan community is under threat of eviction while the depressed area of Veraviile has been the scene of several violent demolitions in the last three months.

“We ask that a local moratorium on demolitions be passed by the Las Pinas city council in view of the violent demolitions and the threat of more evictions. A local moratorium will be in line with the recommendation by the Commission on Human Rights as per Resolution (1v) No. A2008-052,” stated Robert Labrador of the Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino (AMP).

After the rally at the city hall, the urban poor marched back to Brgy. Pamplona II around 5 p.m. for a noise barrage against con-ass and cha-cha. Labrador stated that “This noise barrage is part of the build up activity for the State of the Nation protests. The noise of the people’s protests should drown out the sound of bombs exploding that is meant to scare the masses. We call on the people to defend their democratic rights and oppose martial law or a state of emergency. The people should make noise today or else we will wake up tomorrow with Gloria Arroyo remaining in power forever as prime minister.”

The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) is also demanding a moratorium on evictions in the face of the violent demolitions. “We ask that Malacanang declare a moratorium on demolitions and a ban on violent evictions. The least that government can do in the midst of the economic crisis is to refrain from destroying the houses and livelihoods of the poor,” stated Renato Magtubo, chairperson of PM.

“The UDHA provides that no demolition can proceed without relocation provided the urban poor. Honest to goodness negotiations with the community must be conducted for decent relocation. Residents are resisting and fighting evictions because they are being relocated to death zones where there are no livelihood and services,” explained Magtubo.

APM and AMP are pushing for a 5-point demand in response to the crisis: (1) Moratorium on demolitions and ban on violent evictions; (2) Condonation of penalties and interests on low-cost and socialized housing loans. Draft a pro-poor implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for Republic Act 9507 or Socialized and Low-Cost Housing Loan Restructuring Act of 2008; (3) Jobs for the 3 million unemployed. Reform and expand the public employment program; (4) Allot 20% of the land in housing projects for socialized housing as provided for in the UDHA. Thus on-site relocation will be possible and the urban poor need not be relocated to undeveloped areas without services and jobs; and (5) Shift the bulk of the P330 billion fund for the stimulus plan to direct support and social services to the poor instead of infrastructure projects which benefits principally contractors and business.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another Update on Paul Yu Workers Struggle

July 8, 2009

A shipment meant for delivery to Pier 1 and Conforama, Paul Yu's major customers, consisting of 4 container vans worth P16 million (approximately US$320,000) has left the factory after having been put on hold for several days. The workers still do not any information why the shipment was temporarily put on hold but now released.

No auditors or inspectors have been to the factory from either Pier 1 or Conforama despite the information provided the companies regarding workers complaints of labor rights violations and infractions as per their vendor codes of conduct.

In a small victory, the hearing being conducted at the Labor Department on workers money claims for 13th month pay, paternity leave, service incentive leave (equivalent to sick leave/vacation leave) is about to end with management agreeing to pay the workers 3 years back in unpaid benefits. The only item left unsettled is the agency workers claims for wage differential (they were paid below the wage minimum until recently) for the last 3 years (the legal limit to claim unpaid benefits).

The issue of reduction of workdays and suspension of workers were referred or remanded to the National Conciliation and Mediation Board and the National Labor Relations Commission. Nothing happening yet on that front.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Export zone workers resume picket at MEPZ II gate

Press Release
July 2, 2009

Around 200 workers of Paul Yu, a Taiwanese-owned lamp shade factory, resumed their daily picket-protest outside the gates of the Mactan Export Processing Zone II in Lapu-Lapu City after more than a week of “fruitless negotiations” with management. “Tuloy ang laban! We are here to inform workers in the export zone that the fight continues. We are here to seek support from fellow Cebuanos,” stated Willy Dondoyano, head of the Paul Yu Workers Association (PYWA).

The moving picket started yesterday then resumed today at around 8:30 a.m. and will continue till the afternoon. Yesterday security guards at the export zone tried to cajole the picketers to disperse but the workers stood their ground and no untoward incident transpired as the peaceful protest continued.

Dondoyano explained that “In the face of management’s intransigence, we continue to demand that all workers be allowed to work without any retaliation from management. The suspension on the seven leaders and more than 300 workers must be lifted. We refuse management’s offer that we be retrenched and paid a separation rate of P3,000 per year of service. Such an offer is in fact below the criteria set by the Labor Code.”

Dennis Derige, spokesperson of Partido ng Manggagawa-Cebu, revealed that supporters of the Paul Yu workers from abroad have already contacted the major US customers of the company. “We are asking Pier 1 Imports and Home Center to investigate the violations of labor standards and the right to organize at Paul Yu. These are serious infractions of the vendor codes of conduct that such US companies must uphold,” he declared.

Since the suspension of more than 300 workers starting last June 22, hearings had been conducted at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board and the Department of Labor and Employment. Talks have ended in a deadlock as management has refused to face the workers demand for the lifting of the suspension and the start of negotiations on their grievances while workers reject management offer of separation.

Dondoyano declared that the picket today will continue in the following days until there is a breakthrough in the negotiations. “Militancy in struggle is workers’ answer to management’s hardline position. We call on fellow workers in the export zone to rise up in struggle for labor rights and welfare,” he added.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Workers push for unemployment subsidy as big garments firm to shutdown

Press Release
July 1, 2009

The labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) reiterated its call for a “workers bailout” in the face of the impending closure of the Taguig-based Triumph garments factory and its subsidiary Star Performance on August 28, and Cebu-based Celestica electronics firm on August 31. Triumph and Star Performance are both German-owned with 1600 workers while Celestica is a Canadian-owned factory producing various electronics products in the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) in Lapu-Lapu City with 900 employees.

“We call on the government to backtrack from charter revision and instead focus on the economic recession. The closure of Triumph, Star Performance and Celestica and the layoff of a total of more than 2,500 workers belie the claim of DOLE about a rebound in the garments and electronics industry. It is not a slow growth but a sluggish decline that best describes the economy. Unemployment insurance and a bailout of the workers and the poor will put money in the hands of the consumers and revive domestic demand and thus the local economy,” argued Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson.

PM has been pushing for a bailout package for workers in the light of continuous hemorrhage in jobs in export firms. The bailout includes an unemployment subsidy for displaced workers; tax refund for all wage earners; expansion and reform of the public employment program; extension of health care coverage for displaced workers; and moratorium on demolitions and evictions.

PM contends that the economy is practically in recession and thus urgent action must be taken. “Government cannot keep on whistling in the dark and being in denial about the recession. Tens of thousands have lost their jobs and many remain without work. An economic revival can only come about through a policy reversal and paradigm shift in the national development model. The policies of liberalization, deregulation and privatization must be stopped. The local economy must be developed by strengthening industry and modernizing agriculture based on agrarian reform,” insisted Magtubo.

Magtubo furthered that “In the immediate period, the workers of Triumph, Star Performance and Celestica may be able to live off their separation pay. But if they cannot find another job in the next six months then their living standards will suffer in the medium to long-term period. Workers are being made to pay the price of a crisis that is not of their own making.”

“These foreign-owned multinational companies are throwing their Filipino workers like dirty rags after benefiting from their labor all these years,” argued Magtubo.