Thursday, March 8, 2012

Women workers run for gender and labor justice on 101st Women’s Day

Partido ng Manggagawa
PALEA Women’s Committee
8 March 2012

To cap the weeklong commemoration of International Women’s Day (IWD) by the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) and Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) women members held a women run for gender justice and labor justice, 6:00am at Ayala, Makati City, wreath-laying at Gabriela Silang monument at Ayala corner Makati Avenue, then proceeded to Allied Bank along Ayala Avenue.

“The Women Run for Gender Justice and Labor Justice is a celebration of the inseparability of the fight for women’s rights and workers rights.  IWD in fact started in honor of the 1908 garment workers' strike in New York. While much has been achieved by women in general, for women workers the sweatshop conditions of the 1900’s is still the norm in factories, shops, offices and farms as capitalist globalization rolls back the gains of the labor movement even as gender equality and reproductive health remains crucial concerns,” asserted Judy Ann Miranda of PM.

 Ms. Miranda added that, “On this occasion, other concerns that we also want to give emphasis to are women’s right to equal work opportunity, a concrete solution to high prices of basic commodities,  additional budget for social services, and passage of the RH bill.”

PM and PALEA further explained that women’s labor force participation rate in our country has remained, more or less, at 50% and the reason for this is the tremendous lack of job opportunities for women.  This reality is taking a big toll on the bodies and minds of women who have been more burdened by poverty, high prices, and lack of crucial services such as health, housing, among others.

To DOLE Secretary Baldoz and PNoy, we refuse to listen to more of your promises, lies and deception.  Araw namin  ito, so this time, you listen to our demands and act on them as sincere public officials should do,” declared Arlene Ladimo of PALEA.  To symbolize women workers’ refusal to listen to mere promises but rather be heard, they did an Aguirre (prosecution lawyer Vitaliano Aguirre, Jr.) by covering their ears for a few minutes. 

“We have been lied to when we sought the President’s help vs. Lucio Tan’s outsourcing and contractualization scheme of PAL employees and PNoy said this is within the bounds of law.  Thousands were duped to take up nursing with promises of jobs abroad – the other day, Secretary Baldoz are calling on them to work at call centers, etc., etc.  We want jobs, not just any job but regular and decent jobs, we want lower prices of basic goods, and more budget for social services.  ‘Yan ang ibigay ninyo dahil ‘yan ang kailangan namin,” continued Ms. Ladimo.

After the Women Run at Ayala, Makati, the PALEA and PM women members held a motorcade to Mendiola and joined the World March of Women in a traditional rally. Yesterday they held a “Kalbaryo ng Kababaihan” to highlight the 101 burdens of women as a way of focusing attention on the pressing concerns on the 101st anniversary of IWD.

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