Wednesday, November 24, 2010

PM to use “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” brand in campaign for regular jobs

Press Release
November 24, 2010

The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) lauded the delicadeza of resigned Tourism undersecretary Enteng Romano even as it plans to use the “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” brand for its anti-contractualization protest. Renato Magtubo, PM chair said that “Enteng Romano deserves credit for taking responsibility for his mistakes. But his inspiration will not go unused since we will make ‘Pilipinas Kay Ganda’ a slogan in the campaign for regular jobs.”

He added that “The ‘Pilipinas Kay Ganda’ brand captures our dream of a country where workers enjoy job security, living wages, substantial benefits, decent working conditions and the freedom to have a voice and representation in the workplace through a union.”

In tomorrow’s mass action at Ayala Ave. in Makati, PM will bring tarpaulins with the message “Kung Walang Kontraktwal, Pilipinas Kay Ganda” and “Kung Trabaho ay Regular, Pilipinas Kay Ganda.” Tomorrow is the National Day of Action for Regular Jobs and Against Contractual Employment spearheaded by the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA), Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), the anti-contractualization coalition KONTRA, the Labor Alliance for Better Order and Reform (LABOR), the Church-Labor Conference and PM.

Also joining the Ayala march are workers of Fortune Tobacco Corporation (FTC) who are opposing management’s plans to retrench layoff some 2,000 workers. The workers will be retrenched before possibly being rehired as new employees of the merged company Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corporation (PMFTC). In a meeting between FTC management and Fortune Tobacco Labor Union (FTLU) last week, the latter was informed that older workers will be offered an early retirement plan while younger employees will be terminated and then hired as new workers in the merged company.

Arnulfo Macabutas, FTLU vice-president, said that “We demand that no worker be retrenched and instead that they be absorbed as regular employees of PMFTC with no loss in seniority, wages or benefits. The union and the collective bargaining agreement must likewise be recognized by PMFTC.”

FTLU is basing its demand on jurisprudence that in cases of corporate mergers, there is a continuation in the employment relations from the original companies to the merger entity. “The Supreme Court has ruled that the successor company absorbs all the obligations of the original company with regards to its employees including any exclusive bargaining agent and collective bargaining agreement,” Macabutas.

FTLU members have been mobilizing in mass actions to press for its demand. Last November 10, some 500 FTLU members held a torch parade from the factory to the Concepcion Church in Marikina City.

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