The militant Partido Manggagawa (PM) is urging incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to set off his anti-‘endo’ campaign to a good start by rectifying a grave injustice committed by outgoing President BS Aquino against the Filipino workers.
According to PM Chairman Renato Magtubo, that injustice -- a mistake known to all -- was President Aquino's cold-blooded approval of PAL’s outsourcing program in 2011.
The program, the labor leader said, altered from regular to contractual the employment status of 2,600 PAL employees.
Members of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA), for more than two years, stood firm in opposing the program by building and sustaining a massive protest camp at PAL’s In-Flight Center near the Terminal 2. The campaign call, “Ang laban ng PALEA ay laban ng lahat,” had since then become the battle cry of organized labor against the policy of contractualization.
In September 2013, the union and the PAL management entered into a Settlement Agreement (SA) which provides for a compensation and re-employment package for some 600 members of PALEA who remained opposed to the outsourcing program. PAL has not fully complied with the agreement particularly on PALEA 600 re-employment as regular workers.
“Mr. President, this injustice does not require three or six months to fix and rectify. It is simply an implementation of a binding agreement between the union and the management which you were made aware of during a meeting with PALEA officers before you finally decided to run as President,” said Magtubo.
Added Magtubo: “Once justice is served to the PALEA 600, a clear direction is presumed to have been set for a serious anti-endo campaign of the new administration. We do expect a non business-as-usual approach to this issue.”
Ending endo or the industry practice of hiring workers on contractual basis was one of the main platforms of President-elect Rody Duterte. The policy is seen as a plague that perpetuates the problem of poverty and inequality in the country as it undermines workers’ right to decent work and life of dignity.
The labor group, however, is worried that the 8-point economic agenda of the President didn’t set out a “bagong daan” framework to indicate a new era or a new beginning.
Meanwhile, PM said it is also supportive of Duterte’s plan to open peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) as well as with other revolutionary forces in the country.
“Ending the people’s war will not necessarily mean the ultimate settlement of class conflicts in the country. That won’t happen in the next six years or more under capitalism and the system of elite rule. But aiming for momentary or long-term peace based on social justice is a better agenda than prolonging the war to an indefinite conclusion,” said Magtubo.
Duterte’s peace charm with CPP is coupled with a surprising offer of four cabinet positions to its nominees for DOLE, DAR, DSWD and DENR.
23 May 2016