The Partido ng Manggagawa salutes the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines in its two-day Congress. The NUJP is more than capable of meeting the tasks it set itself of promoting press freedom and protecting the rights and welfare of journalists in the Philippines.
In the last year, the NUJP has proven itself in its leadership in the campaign to seek justice for the victims of the Maguindanao massacre, many of whom were media workers. Also, the NUJP has put itself on the line of fire by supporting the fight of the ABS-CBN IJM workers against illegal dismissals and for the right to form a union.
No doubt the plight of journalists in the country is dire and dismal. The Philippines ranks high in terms of the number of media workers killed. Working conditions of journalists are worsening with the mass media corporations resorting to various contractualization schemes.
The culture of impunity and the model of globalization are twin dragons that NUJP must slay if it is to defend and advance the rights and welfare of media workers. In this endeavor, the NUJP need not stand alone. It must seek alliances with its brothers and sisters in the labor movement and civil society with similar perspectives and platforms.
The Partido ng Manggagawa supports the NUJP in its aim of protecting and promoting the working conditions of journalists. Truly there can be no press freedom where media workers exist in conditions of corruption, poverty or fear.
The struggle of the workers against oppression and exploitation would be much harder without a free press. Thus there is an objective basis for collaboration. As we support NUJP in its goals, we challenge it to broaden its reach and link up arms with the labor movement.
Today the fight of the Philippine Airlines employees is a trailblazer struggle for the revival of the workers movement that is inspiring an unprecedented unity of labor. Without as much media attention but with the same determination, workers of Fortune Tobacco and export zone workers are fighting also for job security and union rights.
The struggle of the workers in general and journalists in particular would be much stronger if solidarity is forged in the fight for press freedom, labor rights and social change.