February 8, 2013
With the campaign period for national candidates set to start next Tuesday, some 300 workers bannered the demand “Manggagawa Naman!” as a challenge to senatorial and other candidates to put the concerns of labor on their platform. The rally around the airport area is the kickoff for labor’s campaign around issues for the duration of the electoral season.
“The electoral air war is already heating up even before February 12 with senator wannabes maximizing the loophole of the law by flooding television and radio with pre-campaign political ads. Yet we have to see any of them respond to the urgent demands of the workers and poor aside from motherhood statements. We dare them to put the concerns of labor on their platform,” asserted Renato Magtubo, chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).
At 6:00 p.m. the hundreds of members of PM, the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA), United Cavite Workers Association, Samahan ng Manggagawa sa
Paranaque, Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Antipolo,
Zone One Tondo Organization and Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino streamed out of
the picketline outside the PAL In-Flight Center for the torch parade.
The ralliysts marched from the PALEA protest camp to the Our Lady of Airways Parish and then back. The scores of torches lit the night and highlighted the placards emblazoned with the slogan “Manggagawa Naman!”
The workers pushed for a set of demands which they called “Apat na Dapat”:
1. Regular jobs
2. Affordable housing
3. Health and education for all
4. Cheap food, electricity and water
Before the torch parade, the workers celebrated the 13th founding anniversary of PM and commemorated the first year of the group PM Coalition with an afternoon-long program of speeches, presentations and cultural numbers at the PALEA picketline. The workers also paid homage to Filemon “Ka Popoy” Lagman who was assassinated on February 6, 2001 in the University of the
Lagman was the brain child behind the formation of PM as a labor party. ###