Thursday, February 2, 2012

Workers demand reforms beyond Gloria and Corona

Press Statement
February 2, 2012
Gerry Rivera
PALEA President

In the face of the ongoing impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, workers demand “Reforms beyond Gloria and Corona.” Workers want not just the prosecution of Gloria Arroyo and her minions but the cleansing of all corrupt officials in the bureaucracy and further the institution of radical changes in the political and economic system.

Without such thoroughgoing reforms then the purging of Gloria’s followers would just pave the way for the embedding of PNoy’s own cronies in government. As it stands now, the so-called campaign for good governance by PNoy looks no more than a factional fight among the elite. This is because there is no difference between the regimes of Arroyo and Aquino with regards to labor policy, neoliberal economics and social programs.

The experience of PALEA is enlightening. The decision to allow the controversial outsourcing scheme was upheld by both the labor secretaries of Arroyo and Aquino. Moreover, the Office of the President itself under PNoy affirmed the legality of the PAL’s contractualization scam despite the USD 76.5 million profit for the last fiscal year.

Thus Corona and PNoy may be fighting over the fate of Gloria Arroyo and Hacienda Luisita but both are beholden to Lucio Tan. With a mere letter from PAL’s lawyer Estelito Mendoza, Corona’s Supreme Court recalled the ruling in favor of the 1,800 flight attendants of FASAP. But also on the mere say-so from PAL that it is losing money even when the facts deny it, Aquino’s government betrayed the 2,600 ground crew of PALEA.

The clash between Corona and PNoy looks more like a case of the kettle calling the teapot black and the teapot accusing the kettle of being ebony.

Like the rest of the people, we want to believe that the prosecution of Gloria and her minions is the start of fundamental reforms. But without any signs of real changes then such is mere wishful thinking.

We want to see the prosecution not just of a corrupt chief justice but the purging of labor dealers in the DOLE and NLRC and the imprisonment of killers of labor leaders.

We demand a change in the government’s labor policy so that regular jobs are protected, contractualization is stopped, wages are not frozen, and the freedoms to organize and bargain are guaranteed.

We call for a reversal of the neoliberal economic model that has led to the collapse of our domestic industry and agriculture. Jobs must be generated in the country instead of labor exported abroad through national industrialization, land reform and agricultural modernization.

This will be our call for the coming celebration of Labor Day. To jumpstart the campaign, we will mobilize on Monday for the impeachment trial by carrying the banner of “Justice for workers, Reforms beyond Gloria and Corona.”

No comments: