Friday, April 29, 2011

Workers hold caravan for wage hike, regular jobs

Press Release
April 29, 2011

The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) together with the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) held today a “workers caravan” to press for a wage hike and campaign against labor contractualization. The motorcade of vehicles and motorcycles started early in the morning, passed through many industrial estates in Cavite and ended by the late afternoon at the country’s biggest economic zone in the town of Rosario.

We want to bring the good news of the campaign against contractualization to the export zone workers, many of whom are themselves contractual employees rather than regular workers,” explained Renato Magtubo, PM chair.

Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and PM vice chair added that “The workers caravan is also part of our initiative to seek the support of the public on the planned strike at PAL to force management to accede to our demands.”

At 8:30 a.m. the initial groups of vehicles assembled at the
Diosdado Macapagal Highway
near the Uniwide Coastal Mall. It then proceeded along
Quirino Avenue
to SM Bacoor where they met the contingent of the United Cavite Workers Association.

From there they passed by the Yazaki-EMI factory in Imus and then the First Cavite Industrial Estate in Dasmarinas before stopping for lunch at the Freedom Island workers community in General Trias. At 2:00 p.m. the caravan went to the Cavite Economic Zone in Rosario for a program that lasted until 4:00 p.m.

The workers caravan is a buildup activity for the May 1 rally. On Labor Day, PM will assemble at Mehan Garden in Manila then march to Mendiola for a labor unity rally and mass to be officiated by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo. Labor Day protests will also be held also in Cebu City, Davao City, Bacolod City, Iloilo City, General Santos City, Iligan City and Dipolog City.

“There will be no good news for the workers on May 1, just a consuelo de bobo. Non-wage benefits should complement not replace a wage hike,” declared Magtubo. PM claimed that the cost of living in Metro Manila for a family of six is already PhP 1010 as of March. PM based its estimate on its own cost of living study last year and the inflation rate over the past year.

Meanwhile Rivera insisted that “The good news that we wish on May 1 is PNoy announcing that he is against outsourcing. With our motion for reconsideration pending at the Office of the President, it is timely for PNoy to declare if he favors the straight road of regular jobs or the crooked path of contractualization.”

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