Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Anti-contractualization group urges Congress to enact tough measures against contractualization

10 November 2010

Some 500 Members of the Koalisyon Laban sa Kontraktwalisasyon (KONTRA) trooped to the gates of Batasan Complex this afternoon asking Congress to enact stringent measures against contractualization to prevent companies from employing different schemes that undermine labor standards.

The picket was held in time for the public hearing scheduled by the House Labor Committee on the intensifying labor dispute in PAL.

“Without these tough measures, companies are emboldened to employ labor flexibilization schemes under the guise of management prerogatives as in the case of PAL,” said Partido ng Manggagawa Chair Renato Magtubo in a statement.

The former labor partylist representative explained that “Unless criminalized, contractualization, though prohibited by law, will be abused to the max by greedy capitalists especially when they find comfort from no less than the Labor Department itself.”

Pete Pinlac, chairperson of Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (Makabayan), pointed out that schemes such as outsourcing and other kinds of labor flexibilization, are mere faces of the same coin.

“All these are meant to cut on labor cost by different means, either through outright retrenchment or by depressing the price of labor by resorting to contractual work arrangements,” said Pinlac.

Edwin Bustillos of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) on the other hand said, the scourge of contractualization has effectively weakened the bargaining power of labor in terms of defending their job security and securing decent income.

“In most cases, contractual workers are denied decent wages, have no job security, and receive no benefits compared to their regular counterparts,” explained Bustillos.

Bustillos said the entire labor movement in the country is against contractualization and is asking Congress to reverse this trend before the Philippines completely becomes a country of contractuals.

KONTRA is a labor alliance opposed to the policy of labor contractualization. It is composed of Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), the Archdiocese of Manila Ministry for Labor Concerns (AMLC), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Manggagawa para sa Inang Bayan (MAKABAYAN), Manggagawa sa Komunikasyon sa Pilipinas (MKP), PALEA, Fortune Tobacco Labor Union (FTLU), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Unified Filipino Service Workers (UFSW), and Urban Missionaries (UM).

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