Wednesday, April 4, 2012

“Kalbaryo ng Manggagawa at Maralita” held in Makati

Press Release
April 4, 2012

A “Kalbaryo ng Manggagawa at Maralita’ was held in Makati today to highlight the plight and demands of workers and the poor. Some 200 members of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) and Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino (AMP) participated in the “Kalbaryo.”

“The Kalbaryo is an annual tradition to remind government of the unmet demands and the heavy crosses borne by the working people. Contractual jobs, low wages, high prices and demolitions of depressed communities are the problems underscored by today’s protest,” Renato Magtubo, PM chair explained.

The Kalbaryo passed through key government agencies and private institutions in Makati in a mock stations of the cross. One protester carried a symbolic cross on his back. Some women participants held shrouds ala the legend of St. Veronica. The cross and shrouds were marked with the issues highlighted by the Kalbaryo.

The advance party of the protesters from PALEA arrived early at
Ayala Ave.
by 8:00 am to catch the employees going to work. The rest assembled at the Makati fire station by 8:30 am. At 9:00 am the Kalbaryo started with a march to Lucio Tan’s office in Allied Bank Building to assail contractualization at Philippine Airlines. Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and PM vice chair said that “To resurrect Philippine Airlines (PAL), its regular workers must be reinstated. PALEA is the solution so that PAL regains its place as Asia’s best. We say this to PAL’s old boss Lucio Tan and its new owner, the San Miguel group.”

The “Kalbaryo” then proceeded to the Employers Confederation of the Philippines office in Buendia to criticize the business group for its resistance to a wage hike. The next stop was the nearby office of the Department of Trade and Industry to draw attention to the high prices of basic commodities.

To focus on the problem of oil price hikes, the protesters then marched all the way to the Shell office in Valero. The “Kalbaryo” ended at the HUDCC office in
Makati Ave.
corner Buendia to call on the government for a moratorium on demolitions and increased budget for housing.

Magtubo added that “The Kalbaryo is a buildup to the May 1 rally. On Labor Day, workers demand reforms beyond the prosecution of Gloria and the impeachment of Corona. Workers will call on the Aquino government to heed the demands for regular jobs, wage increase and reduction in prices of oil products. Further we ask for a review of the policies of liberalization, deregulation and privatization that have led to thousands of closures and layoffs, and the collapse of industry and agriculture.”

No comments: