14 April 2014
The Filipino masses got a brief respite in yesterday’s convincing victory of their Pambansang Kamao over Timothy Bradley, yet such a moment of glory cannot gloss over the fact that life remains a difficult fight for survival under the present administration.
In their traditional rendition of “Kalbaryo ng Manggagawa at Maralita” held this morning at Mendiola, members of the labor group, Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), called the attention of the Aquino administration on several issues where ordinary workers were practically and perpetually “crucified”.
These issues include the problems of unemployment, contractualization, and the deepening inequality between the rich and the poor.
“In truth the ‘tuwid na daan’ was a tricky road to trek. It remains a “kalbaryo” -- a daily sacrifice for ordinary workers who are continuously denied the rights and opportunity to live a decent life,” said PM Secretary General Judy Ann Miranda.
Miranda said life under the Aquino administration remains a difficult fight for survival to both men and women who carry the burden of jobs crisis characterized by rising unemployment, low-wage and contractual work arrangements.
According to the Social Weather Station (SWS) 27 out of 100 adult Filipinos were considered unemployed in December 2013. The same survey also showed that unemployment was highest among women (35.9%) and among youth (52.3%) under the age group 18-24.
And for those who are employed, added Miranda, the working conditions remain very harsh with millions of workers living a slave-like subsistence under contractual work arrangements while their bosses join the club of the world’s top billionaires.
According to PM’s own study, the workers real wage increased by mere 14% between 2006 and 2013 while the net worth of the country’s 10 richest capitalists increased by 1,005%.
The group likewise lambasted the government for failing to address the problems of high power rates, the high cost of basic goods and services, as well as the deteriorating state of our mass transport system particularly the MRT and LRT.
The group, together with the labor coalition Nagkaisa!, are now preparing their forces for a major nationwide action on Labor Day.