May 1, 2012
The militant Partido ng Manggaggawa (PM) slammed the administration of President Benigno Aquino III for its inaction on workers demands for a wage hike and against contractualization. “Grace Lee is far luckier than private sector workers for President Benigno Aquino has surprises for the former but no gifts for the latter on Labor Day. But this is not due to a personal defect on the part of PNoy but a systemic defect of the government. The government is captive to a defective economic model called globalization which sacrifices workers needs to the interests of foreign investors and local capitalists,” asserted Renato Magtubo, PM chair.
PM joined the recently-formed Nagkaisa in holding a 20,000-strong “historic” rally by the newly-formed Nagkaisa, which unites the country’s major labor center for the first time since the 1980’s. An advance contingent of some 500 youth and workers held a “Lakbayan para sa Pabahay at Trabaho” yesterday that started from
Baclaran Church and ended at the Holy Trinity Church in Balic-Balic, for an overnight vigil. Manila
In today’s protest, PM members flew kites symbolizing the lifting of the dignity of workers and rising of workers’ wages. They also carried makeshift “gadgets” labeled “Stop Noynoying, Work for the workers” to bring attention to the administration’s inaction on workers’ demands for regular jobs, wage hike, socialized housing, and low prices of electricity.
As early as 7:00 a.m. the different groups assembled all along the length of Espana from Welcome Rotonda to Forbes. By 9:00 a.m. the Nagkaisa rally started proceeding to Mendiola and the program lasted until 11:00 a.m. After the rally, PM and the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association held a motorcade back to the protest camp for an afternoon program.
Magtubo added that “The recently released ‘Global Wage Report’ of the ILO notes that workers in the
are among the lowest paid in the world and wages are falling still. But PNoy remains deaf and blind to the call for salary increase.” Philippines
The Labor Day commemoration by groups comprising Nagkaisa was nationwide in scope. In Cebu, some 4,000 members of PM, ALU-TUCP, APL-SENTRO and Makabayan marched by 8:00 a.m. from the Pier 1 to downtown
and then a staged rally at the office of the Department of Labor and Employment. Colon
Some 1,000 sugar workers and factory laborers led by PM held a rally at the
public plaza. Hundreds of leaders of labor unions, jeepney drivers associations, trisikad federation, truck drivers association, farm workers and urban poor in Bacolod held an indoor assembly in the morning and then marched downtown in the afternoon. In Iloilo City Davao, some 400 members of Nagkaisa including PM assembled by 1:00 p.m. at and then marched around the city. Orcullo Park