May 1, 2014
With two years to go into the administration, the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) slammed President Benigno Aquino for the lack of a labor legacy. “For the last four Labor Day commemorations, workers have received nothing or zero from PNoy. Just like this Labor Day, workers will get no wage increase, not even non-wage benefits from government,” asserted Renato Magtubo, PM national chair.
“Even the job fairs that the Department of Labor and Employment is holding today are a labor legacy of Gloria Arroyo, not an original gimmick by PNoy. Of over 100,00 vacancies available at the job fairs, most are work formerly occupied by contractual workers who have become endo (end of contract),” Magtubo argued.
PM is participating in the 30,000-strong mobilization organized by the broad labor coalition Nagkaisa which unites more than 40 labor centers, federations and organizations in the country. After assembling all along the length of Espana,
Nagkaisa will march to Mendiola for organized labor’s commemoration of May Day.
Magtubo said that “Without a labor legacy, PNoy’s tuwid na daan is a meaningless journey for workers and the poor. Just to cite yesterday’s dialogue with labor leaders, PNoy did not provide anything concrete except the promise to continue talking. In other words, PNoy made no commitments to the demands for tax breaks, lower electricity rates and the security of tenure bill despite being items on the table for the past two years since Labor Day of 2012.”
PM is lambasting the Aquino administration for the worsening inequality in the country despite consistent economic growth as measured in GDP increase. “While the administration pays lip service to inclusive growth, unemployment and underemployment remains unchanged because of cheap labor policy, regulations allowing rampant contractualization, labor repression, and the preference to foreign investments and public-private partnership,” Magtubo explained.
PM is calling for the establishment of an agro-industrial policy that will strengthen local agriculture and industry as the basis for the robust growth of decent jobs that will provide regular work and living wages. “Workers demand for an agro-industrial policy has fallen on deaf ears since administration finance and economic officials argue dogmatically that the state’s only economic role is to encourage workers and the poor to become micro entrepreneurs. This despite the fact that the failure rate of SME’s is more than 90%,” Magtubo ended.