Friday, March 17, 2017

Contractualization will proliferate under new DOLE order--PM

The militant labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) asserted that contractualization is allowed and will continue to proliferate under the new Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) order named DO 174 issued yesterday.

“News that DO 174 prohibits contractualization is fake! What prohibition? What total ban? DO 174 merely reiterates the bans already provided for in the old DO 18-A. Everything old is presented as new again,” declared Wilson Fortaleza, PM spokesperson.

Members of PM, the union PALEA and other groups under the coalition Nagkaisa held a rally yesterday at the DOLE while the DO 174 was being announced by DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello. More protests are planned nationwide as a result of labor’s rejection of DO 174. Today in Cebu City, workers are holding a mass action to coincide with a House Labor Committee hearing.

Fortaleza explained that “Bello is acting like Pontius Pilate by passing the ball to Congress on prohibiting all forms of contractualization. The Labor Secretary is vested by Article 106 of the Labor Code with the power to prohibit or restrict labor contracting. Why does he not want exercise this authority to prohibit? Given the irreconcilable positions between employers and workers, why does he side with the capitalists?”

“We want Bello to go. Bello’s order contradicts the President’s directive during the labor dialogue to end contractualization and agency hiring,” Fortaleza said. Labor leaders had a dialogue with President Rodrigo Duterte last February 27 at Malacanang and the latter acceded to the demand to prohibit all forms of contractualization.

“DO 18-A was issued in late 2011 in the wake of PALEA’s resistance to the contractualization scheme at Philippine Airlines. Since D0 18-A merely regulated not prohibited contractualization, the problem of endo has gone from bad to worse over the past five years. With DO 18-A rehashed as DO 174, contractualization will only get worst in the years to come,” Fortaleza extrapolated.

He insisted that “Under DO 174, replacement of regular workers with contractual workers will continue. Agency rather direct hiring will be the norm. Manpower agencies will remain as middleman between principal employers and workers. As lifetime agency employees, the best workers can hope for is a minimum wage while principal employers reap the fruits of labor productivity."

March 17, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Advisory: Workers rally today as new DOLE order to be issued

Media Advisory
Partido Manggagawa
Contact Judy Ann Miranda
@ 09228677522, 

New DOLE order issued today:

Today, March 16, 2017
10:00 am at DOLE Intramuros

Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello is announcing this morning the new DOLE order on contractualization. Members of Partido Manggagawa and the union PALEA are returning to the DOLE main office today in time for the announcement. 

The workers rally is part of the series of actions by constituent organizations of the labor coalition Nagkaisa to demand that DOLE issue an order to prohibit contractualization as promised by President Duterte. Today is the 16th day since the dialogue between labor groups and President Duterte.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Labor group urges MIAA employee, manager to sue Cam using PAL employee case as precedent

Sandra Cam’s impending appointment to the President’s cabinet should not only be reconsidered, the dignity of both the MIAA employee and her manager should likewise be restored, according to labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM).

Cam reportedly made a show by threatening people, dropping names and arrogating imminent power at the airport’s VIP lounge, particularly against a MIAA employee and his/her manager.

“If accounts in news reports were true, then the injured parties particularly the MIAA employee and the manager should file appropriate charges against this narcissistic whistle-blower,” said PM Secretary General, Judy Ann Miranda.
Miranda added: “Workers are trained to abide with established protocols in the workplace. They were not hired to suffer indignity from powers-that-be or worse, from a VIP wannabe.”

PM disclosed that last February, a member of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association, Ms. Sarah-Bonnin Ocampo won a favorable settlement of a case of slander and serious misconduct against former AVE Partylist Rep. Eulogio Magsaysay.  The ex-congressman was forced to make a formal apology as resolution of the case with Ocampo before a municipal trial court in Pasay.
The case stemmed from a 2011 incident where Ocampo, PAL’s customer representative during that time at the check-in counter, was berated and offensively called a ‘menopausal bitch’ by the congressman after she refused to grant the latter’s request based on company protocols.

PM welcomed the settlement as a victory for labor and women's rights and a cause for celebration during the obeservance of women's month. "Even more, this resolution sets a precendent and warning against erring government officials or abusive customers against verbally abusing workers who are just doing their job," Miranda explained.

For others the Magsaysay-Ocampo case was ‘too small a thing’ to warrant court action or public attention. But for women activists in the labor movement, any misuse or abuse of power which either arise from the use of brute force by the mighty or from the blind acceptance of the weak should be opposed.

“In the case of Sandra Cam, it is the exploitation of non-existent power against the lowly airport workers.  She can be more dangerous with an official ID from Malacanang,” concluded Miranda.

March 11, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Nationwide actions on IWD to push “end endo,” protest death penalty

Fresh from back-to-back rallies to press the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on the demand to stop contractualization, women workers will again mobilize today for the multisectoral commemoration of International Women's Day (IWD).

“Around the world today, the call is for a global strike against the worsening oppression and exploitation of women. We heed that appeal of our fellow women by launching nationwide protests today in the Philippines,” averred Judy Ann Miranda, secretary general of the Partido Manggagawa (PM).

Women members of PM assembled at Plaza Moriones in Tondo this morning and then marched to Plaza Miranda in Quiapo for the multisectoral rally led by the World March of Women. “Bigas at Rosas, Hindi Dahas” was the theme of the IWD commemoration at Plaza Miranda.

Miranda explained that “The highlight of IWD in the Philippines is the call to end endo and protest the passage of the death penalty bill. Endo is an addition to the multiple burdens suffered by women. And the reimposition of the death penalty is a form of violence against women.”

As part of the nationwide IWD events by PM, earlier today a noise barrage was held by women workers and urban poor women at the main gate of the Cavite Economic Zone in the town of Rosario. Also this morning simultaneous noise barrages were conducted at urban poor communities in the cities of Talisay, Naga and Danao in Cebu. This afternoon, marches will be organized at the Bacolod downtown in Negros and at the Orcullo Park in Davao City.

“We are alarmed at the resurgence of violence against women in the war on drugs, the return of capital punishment and the proposed lowering of the age of criminal liability. We are distressed that endo continues to burden women workers who already have to bear the brunt of domestic labor together with their paid jobs,” Miranda insisted.

She added that back-to-back mass actions led by women workers yesterday and the day before had been able to put pressure on the DOLE which again deferred the planned release of a new order on contractualization. However despite intense lobbying and actions by advocacy groups including women organizations in the House of Representatives, a majority of solons voted yesterday to pass on the third reading the death penalty bill.

“The fight continues against endo at the DOLE and against death penalty at the Senate. Women will be at the forefront of these life and death struggles,” Miranda ended.

March 8, 2017

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Advisory: Women workers to join IWD multisectoral rally

Media Advisory
Partido Manggagawa
Contact Judy Ann Miranda
@ 09228677522, 09175570777


Today, March 8, 2017
9:00 am Assembly at Plaza Moriones, Tondo
10:00 am March to Plaza Miranda, Quiapo

Regional Actions
6:00 am Cavite ecozone (Rosario) noise barrage
9:00 am Talisay, Naga and Danao (Cebu) noise barrage
2:00 pm Bacolod rally at downtown
2:00 pm Davao rally at Orcullo Park

Fresh from back-to-back rallies at the DOLE to press Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello on the demand to end endo, women workers will again mobilize today for the multisectoral commemoration of International Women's Day. Aside from the demand against contractualization, issues to be highlighted today are violence against women in the war on drugs, reimposition of death penalty and the proposed lowering of the age of criminal liability. Similar actions are planned for provinces of Cavite, Cebu, Negros and Davao.

Women to go after Bello’s head if new rules on contractualization side with ECOP and manpower agencies

Women members of Partido Manggagawa (PM) and PALEA are back to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today as the new rules on contractualization is expected to be released by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
A Women March to End Endo was also held yesterday at DOLE led by the Nagkaisa Women Committee.
“The new Department Order (DO) must be in line with the workers’ demand for prohibition and the President’s order to stop agency hiring. A DO outside this track is betrayal to the working class,” stated PM Secretary General Judy Ann Miranda.
Miranda said women workers have analytically tracked the statements of Secretary Bello and they have observed that the labor official is taking the DTI compromise stand which he keeps parroting since his day one in office.
The DTI-DOLE compromise formula intends to regularize contractual workers to the manning agencies and not to the principal employers who hire their services.
“A bad DO will make the eve the International Day of Working Women as a day of betrayal as majority of women workers carry the burden of contractualization in the biggest sectors of our economy.  We will certainly go after the heads of labor officials who betray the interest of women workers,” said Miranda.  
More than half of workers in the services sector where contractualization practices are rampant are women.
Marches, noise barrage on Women’s Day
More women will be in the streets tomorrow to celebrate the International Day of Women. PM members will hold a program at Plaza Moriones in the morning before joining the World March of Women at Plaza Miranda.
Rallies and noise barrage will also be held at EPZA in Cavite and also in Cebu, Bacolod and Davao on issues of contractualization, death penalty, the lowering of minimum age of criminal liability, and the unabated killings in the country.

07 March 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017

Advisory: Workers troop to DOLE today for expected release of endo order

Contact Rene Magtubo @ 09178532905

In time for release of new endo order:

March 7, 2017   10:00 am at DOLE Intramuros

Members of Partido Manggagawa and the union PALEA are returning to the DOLE main office today. Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello declared yesterday, in front of a rally of women workers, that the new order on endo is to be released today.

Women call for end to endo, contractualization on Women’s month

The countdown to end ENDO and contractualization continues: 26 days.
Now it's the turn of women workers to demand from Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III the immediate release of a new department order ending contractualization in all its forms, a couple of days before International Women’s Day. They marched from Taft Avenue to the Labor and Employment offices in Intramuros, Manila.
Labor groups led by Nagkaisa on Thursday, challenged Sec. Bello to once and for all put an end ENDO (end of contract) or contractualization, the illegal practice of employers of dismissing workers to avoid their regularization. They also want an end to employers’ exploitative manpower agency and cooperative hiring, in lieu of direct hiring to avoid the granting of full benefits and tenure to employees.
In a meeting with labor leaders last week, President Rodrigo Duterte renewed his commitment to stop contractualization and directed the DOLE secretary to release an issuance consistent with his stance.
Colorful women’s march
Women workers from Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Sentro, Partido Manggagawa, Federation of Free Workers, PAL Employees Association, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, PSLink and a host of other trade unions comprising the Nagkaisa Women Committee, led the march. Women workers dramatized their demands with face paint, bearing colorful paper flowers, chanting: “Sa multiple burden ko, dagdag pa ang ENDO!”
Half of the women working population are performing unpaid family work—household chores and taking primary responsibility for rearing the children.
Women make up 39% of those listed as active in the labor force. Most of them work in sectors where the practice of ENDO and contractualization are prevalent such as in the service sector (51.2%), including those in sales; trade and related workers (15%); and in the manufacturing sector as plant and machine operators (14%)
Women workers represent 40.1% of laborers and low skilled workers, who account for 30% of the labor force.
“The clock is ticking. The Secretary has 26 days to implement the marching orders from Malacanang. Should he fail to stop contractualization, he would have to answer not only to the President, but more importantly he should be accountable to women workers who have been victimized by contractualization across the country,” the Nagkaisa Women Committee said.
Coordinated action by women workers in other parts of the country are also expected, the Nagkaisa Women Committee said. 
Ratify ILO Convention 151
Women workers are also calling for the Philippine ratification of International Labor Organization Convention 151, an international labor standard that recognizes the rights of public sector workers to freedom of association and collective bargaining. More than half (52%) of public sector workers are women. 
Women contractual workers under more precarious conditions
While both women and men are equally affected by contractualization, women suffer greater consequences. “Pregnancy is an unwritten convenient excuse to end the job contract of women so employers can avoid giving maternity benefits,” the Nagkaisa Women Committee said. This gender bias is extended to the non-regularization of nursing working mothers who can demand 40-minute lactation breaks to express their milk at lactation stations in the workplace, for every eight hours of work.
“Even women who avail of up to two months of paid gynecological leaves for surgical procedures done within their reproductive system, suffer discrimination at work as they are seen as additional cost for the business,” the Nagkaisa Women Committee added. This is deeply rooted in structural inequities and historical gender-based inequality such as in the areas of the wide gender pay gap and equal opportunity for promotion.
At the international stage, the women’s movement has also gained significant ground, thanks to the highly successful ‘Women’s March” in January.
According to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the surge in populist misogyny threatens to reverse progress towards gender equality and women’s autonomy – from austerity and privatisation of public care services to increasingly precarious and informal work, from a resurgence in patriarchal attitudes to attacks on women’s reproductive and sexual health and rights.
“We remain firm in our determination to secure high quality, decent work for women and an end to the gender wage gap ande we remain committed to ending the discrimination and violence that affects women’s daily working lives,” ITUC said.

6 March 2017

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Women workers demand divorce from endo

If there is a particular relationship a woman worker wanted divorced from to free herself of a major burden, it is her unhappy marriage with endo, the women committee of labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) said in a statement.

The Women Committee of Nagkaisa is spearheading a Women March to End Endo tomorrow, March 6, from Plaza Salamanca in TM Kalaw to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) main office in Intramuros. 
Endo (end of contract) represents the dominant form of temporary employment in the country characterized by deceptive trilateral relationships between the principal employers, service contractors (middlemen), and the workers.
According to PM, endo and other forms of contractualization affect more than a third of Filipino workers in the formal economy but are implemented wider in the services sector of the economy occupied mostly by women. 

Contractual workers receive low wages and denied other social security benefits. They also are denied the right to unionize and bargain collectively for the rightful share in the product of their labor. 
“Contractualization, therefore, has a woman face as women comprise the majority of employed workers in the services sector where endo practices are rampant,” said PM Secretary General, Judy Ann Miranda.
More than half (56.3%) of the total employed persons in the country are in the services sector, according to 2016 survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).  
In 2015, women made up 51.2% of service workers and shop and market sales workers; 17.1% of farmers, forestry workers and fishermen; 15.4% of trades and related workers; and 14.1% of machine operators. 
“Malinaw dito na hindi lang pasan ng mga babae ang mundo, pasan din namin ang endo,”declared Miranda, three days before the celebration of the International Day of Women.
Women workers, according to Miranda, already bear multiple burdens at home and at work and their unwanted bond with endo is one of these that they wanted to unload.
“Divorce or separation should always be an option for battered and exploited women,” argued Miranda.
The labor coalition Nagkaisa wherein PM is one of the members, is pressing Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to finally come up with a new regulation prohibiting endo and all forms of contractualization. 
Bello was also instructed by the President to do the same after meeting with labor leaders last February 27.  On March 2, Nagkaisa started its 30-day countdown for labor officials to issue the prohibit order. The rally tomorrow is part of the "end endo" countdown.

5 March 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017

DOLE must enforce ‘prohibit order’ on contractualization

Photo from Center for People's Media

President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching orders are clear: Stop contractualization! No agency hiring! 
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III received these marching orders from the President during the labor dialogue last Monday.  He was instructed to work on a new draft Department Order and to address the related plea of PALEA on outsourcing.
“As the alter ego of the President, Sec. Bello is hard pressed to comply with the order and to abide with the demand of workers without further delay,” said Nagkaisa spokesman, Rene Magtubo.
Through a symbolic pressing of time button, the group declared a 30-day countdown for DOLE to come up with new rules prohibiting contractualization.
Junk win-win
The group noted that the latest draft of the issuance, distributed in January, still reflects the DTI and employers formula of legitimizing manpower agencies and regulating their practices.
“In the light of the President’s latest instructions, Sec. Bello should junk this draft and instead adopt Nagkaisa’s proposed DO, which seeks prohibition of contractualization, as the new working draft,” added Magtubo.
On orders of the President, Sec. Bello is to convene the Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC) to discuss the new draft order. The TIPC, composed of workers, employers and government representatives, serves as the clearinghouse of all labor polices, with the power to endorse proposed issuances to the DOLE Secretary.
“Should there be another deadlock at this level, we expect the Secretary to decide along the line of prohibition agreed upon at the Palace,” stressed Magtubo.
The coalition is likewise hopeful that HB4444 authored by Rep, Raymond Mendoza of the TUCP Partylist, which seeks total prohibition and criminalization of contractualization offenses, will gain ground in Congress once certified by the President.
Once contractualization is finally prohibited, the rights of workers to security of tenure, to unionize and bargain collectively will be restored.
However, Magtubo called on workers to continue working together and be vigilant as the enemies of the working class will surely find ways to prevent workers from achieving total victory against contractualization and other forms of exploitation.
Women march against endo
Women make up more than half of contractual workers. Hence, led the Women’s Committee of Nagkaisa, women workers will continue to exert pressure on the DOLE to stop contractualization.
On March 6, two days before International Women’s Day, women workers will march from Plaza Salamanca to the DOLE offices in Intramuros. Among their calls are, “Sa multiple burden ko, dagdag pa ang endo”, “Sa regular jobs, may forever,” and “Endo itigil na, now na!”
Rights for public sector workers
While calling for a stop to contractualization in civil service, public sector unions has also secured a commitment from the President to ratify ILO Convention 151. 
According to Annie Geron of the Public Services Independent Labor Confederation (PSLINK) which is affiliated with Public Services International (PSI), Convention 151 is an international labor standard that recognizes the rights of public sector workers to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

02 March 2017