Thursday, March 7, 2013

Militant labor kick-off Women’s Day at DOLE with rally vs. “economic abuse”

Partido ng Manggagawa (PM)
PALEA Women’s Committee
7 March 2013
Women members of Partido ng Manggagawa and Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) held a picket-rally this morning in front of the Department of Labor and Emplyoment (DOLE), Intramuros, Manila.  The activity highlighted the economic and labor demands of women workers.

The abuse of women, physical and otherwise, is a major theme of the worldwide commemoration of women’s day. The rallyists brought makeshift chains bearing the major economic demands of women. The women workers also partook of a boodle fight of tuyo to highlight the grave poverty and double burden of working women.

Among the economic burdens of women raised during the activity are the lack of job opportunities for women, outsourcing and contractualization as experienced by PALEA, and high prices of basic commodities and services like water and electricity. 

Filipino women’s Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) has remained within the 50% mark.  This is not because women chose to remain at home as so-called “plain housewives’ but rather due to lack of opportunites.  Regular jobs have been dwindling for decades and contractualization has become the norm.  “Sa hirap ng buhay at kakarampot na sweldo, walang babae ang gustong manatili sa bahay para mag-abang ng iintregang sweldo ng kanilang mga asawa tuwing kinsena.  Women find no pleasure in that,” asserted Partido ng Manggagawa Secretary General Judy Ann Miranda.

She added that it is more difficult for women to make ends meet unemployed.  “Syempre, mas makakatulong kung parehong may regular na trabaho dahil sa Pilipinas ‘buy 1-take 1’ ang pamilyang manggagawa para kitain ang sweldong sasapat sa kanyang pangangailangan sa isang araw.”  With current prices of basic commodities and services, a family of six needs at least P1,000 a day to live decently.  The minimum wage has remained more or less half of that amount. 

In celebration of International Women’s Day, women workers’ demands remain:
1.               Regular jobs and a living wage
2.               Quality social services (e.g. housing, health and education)
3.               Low-priced basic commodities, water and electricity
4.               Rights and protection for women

After this activity, PM and PALEA women members will be participating in women’s groups activities on anti-violence against women tomorrow.


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