Thursday, August 15, 2019

ATM fees, other charges must be cheaper under the regime of automation – labor group


The workers’ group Partido Manggagawa (PM) won’t let the bad idea of higher ATM fees die down despite assurances made by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that they will oppose the banks’ plan to increase their ATM charges.

“Truth must be revealed by the banks on this issue: That the more the system is becoming smart and efficient, which is what automation achieves, the more the services become widely available and cheaper, if not free. The banks’ plan to impose higher fees on ATM transactions and other charges simply violates the economics of automation,” asserted PM Chair Rene Magtubo.

The group argues that under the regime of Industry 4.0 or automation, robots, artificial intelligence (AI) and other smart machines displace humans in the workplace to achieve more economy and productivity. In the case of banks, human tellers were replaced by ATMs and AI, thus, labor costs were saved. 

“So where has the economics of automation gone under this scenario? Truth is, after human tellers were robbed of their jobs, these banks were planning to rob their depositors more to depreciate the robots and to compensate their CEOs. This is corporate greed, plain and simple,” lamented Magtubo.

The planned hike will affect approximately 6 to 8 per cent of minimum wage in NCR and Calabarzon areas, according to PM.

The groups argues further that much of these ATMs must have already been depreciated over time since it was utilized by the banking system and therefore the cost of capital recovery must be very minimal at this point in time.  Other than cost of capex, operations and maintenance the group said, the planned hike is for greed if not outright highway robbery.

15 August 2019

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Labor group slams ATM fee hike

 Image result for atm image



The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) declared its opposition to the planned increase in ATM fees. “Charging P15 per withdrawal is already burdensome. Doubling the fee would be onerous on workers receiving their wages through payroll ATM accounts,” stated Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

He explained that “P15 is almost 3% of the daily minimum wage in NCR. Worse it is around 4% of the daily of a minimum wage earner in the Cavite economic zone. Doubling the ATM fee would mean banks taking 6 to 8% of the minimum wage of workers per withdrawal. This is highway robbery.”

The group called on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to use its regulatory power to freeze once more any ATM fee hikes. PM also supported the congressional inquiry on the issue.

“We call on the bankers to moderate their greed. Unlike workers’ wages, banks’ profits are higher by 26% compared to last year,” Magtubo opined.

He reminded the banks that workers are forced to withdraw from ATM’s since salaries are now commonly received through payroll accounts. “It is no fault of the workers that they have to transact through ATM’s. And of course, the most convenient way is to access your account is from the nearest ATM which is not necessarily one from their payroll bank. Workers would not want to waste time and fare by going to their own bank’s ATM if is one or several rides away.”

August 13, 2019

Monday, July 29, 2019

Black Monday protest by workers vs Duterte veto of SOT bill


Litrato ni Partido Manggagawa.

Workers are launching protests today in Manila and Cebu in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s veto of the Security of Tenure bill last Friday, on the eve of its lapse into law. The noise barrage today is also the start of labor’s renewed campaign for a strong law to strictly regulate the rampant practice of contractualization.

“The Security of Tenure bill is the latest victim of killing under the Duterte regime. Workers vow to continue the fight to end endo,” declared Wilson Fortaleza, spokesperson of Partido Manggagawa (PM).

PM and other labor groups such as Sentro ng Progresibo at Nagkakaisang Manggagawa (SENTRO) and Alliance of General Unions, Institutions and Labor Associations (AGUILA) will launch this afternoon a noise barrage dubbed “Black Monday Protest.” In Metro Manila, the protest is at 5:00 pm at the Boy Scout Circle. While in Metro Cebu, the noise barrage is also at 5:00 pm at Gate 1 of the Mactan Economic Zone in Lapu-Lapu City. Protesters will wear black to symbolize the death of the SOT bill.

The groups also preparing to lobby the new Congress for a new and stronger version of the Security of Tenure bill. “Workers want a law that will ensure regular jobs is the norm in employment relations. We do not accept Duterte’s excuse that employers can outsource jobs even if it is directly related and necessary to its business. That simply opens the floodgates to the abusive system of contractualization that is happening today,” Fortaleza argued.

“Workers will not forget this betrayal by Duterte of his promise to end endo. Three months into his administration, Duterte forcefully warned employers that he will kill them for continuing with the practice of endo. But now three years into his term, he is parroting the lame capitalist alibi that businesses will die if workers are made regular. Duterte’s promise to end endo is dead,” Fortaleza asserted.

He added that “In the class war between the workers and capitalists on contractualization, Duterte has revealed that he is an enemy of the working class and the CEO of the capitalist class.”

July 29, 2019

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Black Monday protest today vs Duterte veto of SOT bill

Media Advisory
July 29, 2019
Partido Manggagawa
Contact Wilson Fortaleza @ 09452182693 

Black Monday protest vs Duterte veto of SOT bill

What: Noise barrage vs veto of security of tenure bill

When: Today, July 29, 5:00 pm

Where: Boy Scout Circle, Quezon Circle

Details:

Members of labor groups such as PM, Sentro ng Progresibo at Nagkakaisang Manggagawa (SENTRO) and Alliance of General Unions, Institutions and Labor Associations (AGUILA) will lead the Black Monday protest in Metro Manila. Protesters will wear black to symbolize the death of the SOT bill. The parallel activity in Metro Cebu will be at Gate 1 of the Mactan Economiz Zone, Lapu-Lapu City at the same time.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Workers to hold protests & lobby for a stronger law vs endo

LABOR PROTEST. Trade union workers belonging to the Nagkaisa Coalition hold a protest in Mendiola, Manila on Labor Day, May 1, 2019, calling for an end to contractualization. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler
Photo from Rappler



In the face of President Rodrigo Duterte’s veto of the Security of Tenure bill, workers will hold initial protests on Monday in Manila and Cebu. “The Security of Tenure bill is the latest victim of killing under the Duterte regime. Workers vow to continue the fight to end endo,” declared Wilson Fortaleza, spokesperson of Partido Manggagawa (PM).

PM and other labor groups such as Sentro will launch a noise barrage dubbed “Black Monday Protest” on July 29. In Metro Manila, the protest is at 5:00 pm at the Boy Scout Circle. While in Metro Cebu, the noise barrage is also at 5:00 pm at Gate 1 of the Mactan Economic Zone in Lapu-Lapu City.

The groups also preparing to lobby the new Congress for a new and stronger version of the Security of Tenure bill. “Workers want a law that will ensure regular jobs is the norm in employment relations. We do not accept the excuse that employers can outsource jobs even if it is directly related and necessary to its business. That simply opens the floodgates to the abusive system of contractualization that is happening today,” Fortaleza argued.

“Workers will not forget this betrayal by Duterte of his promise to end endo. Three months into his administration, Duterte forcefully warned employers that he will kill them for continuing with the practice of endo. But now three years into his term, he is parroting the lame capitalist alibi that businesses will die if workers are made regular. Duterte’s promise to end endo is dead,” Fortaleza asserted.

He added that “In the class war between the workers and capitalists on contractualization, Duterte has revealed that he is an enemy of the working class and the CEO of the capitalist class.” 

July 27, 2019

Friday, July 26, 2019

Workers slam killing of SOT bill

Image result for duterte vetoes
Photo from ABS-CBN

The ‘ifs and buts’ on the anti-endo bill are over. After an overnight flip-flop on whether a presidential veto is coming out or not, the Security of Tenure (SOT) bill has finally found its death today inside the Palace.

“We didn’t expect that even a weak version of an SOT bill will suffer judicial killing from the President,” stated Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

Magtubo said that between labor’s demand to end endo and the employers’ call to veto it, President Duterte has clearly surrendered to the capitalist blackmail.

He reminded the President that, three months into his administration, he forcefully warned employers that he will kill them for continuing with the practice of endo.

“Now that he is three years into his term, he has completely made a U-turn by singing the capitalist chorus that businesses will die if workers are made regular. Duterte’s promise to end endo is dead,” said Magtubo.

The veto’s message, the labor leader said, was very clear on its intent: “That the President wanted to maintain the country’s exploitative yet competitive status quo - our being a republic of endo.”

The labour group argued that: “Without a stronger anti-endo law, all type of work in the country is now candidate for all type of contractual employment arrangements. Businesses may grow out of this exploitative model, which NEDA, DoF, DTI and DOLE truly believe, but not the living standard of workers which is what social justice wanted to achieve.”

The death of anti-endo bill, however, won’t stop the struggle of workers against the epidemic of contractualization until the last three years of the Duterte administration.

“Hangga’t buhay ang endo, tuloy ang laban!,” concluded Magtubo.

26 July 2019

Duterte plans to cripple if not kill SOT bill

Palace: Judge Duterte not by his words, but by his deeds
Inquirer photo


In the face of the flip-flop over the Security of Tenure (SOT) bill, the labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) slammed the plan to either “tweak” or “veto” the proposal that will lapse into law tomorrow.

“Not satisfied with an already watered-down SOT bill, Malacanang wants to cripple if not kill it. Between labor’s demand to end endo and the employers’ call to veto it, President Duterte seems bent on surrendering to the capitalist blackmail,” stated Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

He added that “We wish to remind the President that three months into his administration he forcefully warned employers that he will kill them for continuing with the practice of endo. Now that he is three years into his term, he has changed his tune by repeating the capitalist chorus that businesses will die if workers are made regular. Duterte’s promise to end endo is dead.”

The group also challenged Presidential Spokesperson Sal Panelo to resign from his post and stop confusing the public. “If Panelo was a contractual worker, he would have been terminated for all his bloopers. But such is the double standard of life. Public officials can laugh off their mistakes while endo workers suffer from job insecurity,” asserted Magtubo.

PM is asking Malacanang to explain the truth behind the copy of the veto. “What is the status of the veto of the SOT bill that is already signed by the President and validated by a barcode of Malacanang? Is this a Damocles sword for the workers to accept a mangled SOT bill in return for not it being vetoed?,” Magtubo asked.

26 July 2019

Monday, July 22, 2019

Workers vow to fight chacha at counter-SONA rally




At the top of issues to be raised by workers at the counter-SONA rally today is the opposition to charter change. “Chicha hindi chacha. The government must attend to the problem of hunger and poverty instead of term extension and foreign ownership which are the agenda of charter change,” declared Rene Magtubo, chair of the group Partido Manggagawa (PM).

PM is participating in the coalition United Workers SONA which will mobilize this afternoon. The United Workers SONA coalition will then join up with other broad networks for the United People’s SONA.

The group is also joining the rally by human rights group at the Quezon City Hall by 10:30 am to cry justice for the victims of extra-judicial killings and also demand action on the death of Cavite labor organizer Dennis Sequena.

In Cebu, PM is joining a broad coalition of groups Sentro, Kalipunan and Bayan for a rally that will echo the demands of the United People’s SONA at Commonwealth. The counter-SONA in Cebu City will be at Colon St. by 9:00 am.

Magtubo averred that that “Duterte may repeat in the SONA the unsubstantiated claim by the Labor Department that 500,000 workers have been regularized. Where is the evidence and particulars? The truth is that companies such as PLDT and Philippine Airlines have appealed in the courts the orders to regularize thousands of agency workers. The Philippines is still a Republic of Endo, a Province of China and a puppet of the US.”

He added that “Up to now, President Duterte has not signed the SOT bill due to the powerful lobby of employers for a veto. Should President Duterte surrender to the demand to veto the bill, then he reveals where he stands on the class war between the workers and capitalists on contractualization. A presidential veto will just be another betrayal of his promise to workers. But even if the Security of Tenure bill is signed or lapses into law, endo will persist since the legislation is a watered-down version.” Thus the group averred that among workers demands for the SONA mobilization is a stronger law to stamp out contractualization.

In the counter-SONA rally, aside from pushing for an end to endo, workers are also clamoring for a reform of the wage-setting mechanism.

“We welcome the announcement by the Department of Labor and Employment that it will undertake a study on the current wage system in response to the calls to abolish the regional wage boards. Although we fear that powerful lobby by employers will once more scuttle any real reform,” asserted Magtubo.

PM is batting for the abolition of the regional wage boards and its replacement by a National Wage Commission which will fix a national minimum wage based on the cost of living. The group is also calling for the provision of a minimum basic income for workers in the SME sector which is unregulated and exempted from the minimum wage setting.

July 22, 2019

Sunday, July 21, 2019

“We are still a Republic of Endo under Duterte”—labor group




On the eve of the SONA, the labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) declared that “After three years of Duterte, we are a Republic of Endo, a Province of China and a puppet of the US.”

PM is participating in the coalition United Workers SONA which will mobilize on tomorrow afternoon. The United Workers SONA coalition will then join up with other broad networks for the United People’s SONA.

“We believe that the reason President Duterte has not signed the SOT bill up to now is the strong lobby of employers for a veto. Should President Duterte surrender to the demand to veto the bill, then he reveals where he stands on the class war between the workers and capitalists on contractualization. A presidential veto will just be another betrayal of his promise to workers,” asserted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

He added that “But even if the Security of Tenure bill is signed or lapses into law, endo will persist since the legislation is a watered-down version.” Thus the group averred that among workers demands for the forthcoming SONA mobilization is a stronger law to stamp out contractualization.

“Contrary to the wild claim of employers that the security of tenure bill is superfluous because endo has already been ended with DO 173 and EO 51, numerous loopholes allow the proliferation of contractual workers. The security of tenure bill will not end endo and will not stop contractualization because it is a weak version of the proposed law,” Magtubo averred.

In the counter-SONA rally, aside from pushing for an end to endo, workers are also clamoring for a reform of the wage-setting mechanism.

“We welcome the announcement by the Department of Labor and Employment that it will undertake a study on the current wage system in response to the calls to abolish the regional wage boards. Although we fear that powerful lobby by employers will once more scuttle any real reform,” asserted Magtubo.

PM is batting for the abolition of the regional wage boards and its replacement by a National Wage Commission which will fix a national minimum wage based on the cost of living. The group is also calling for the provision of a minimum basic income for workers in the SME sector which is unregulated and exempted from the minimum wage setting.

21 July 2019

Friday, July 19, 2019

Despite SOT bill, endo persists under Duterte

 



The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) stated today that even if the Security of Tenure bill lapses into law, endo will persist since the legislation is a “watered-down version.” Thus the group averred that among workers demands for the forthcoming SONA mobilization is a strong law to stamp out contractualization.

“Three years after President Duterte promised to abolish contractualization, we are a Republic of Endo, a Province of China and also a puppet of the US. Workers are suffering from precarious jobs and low pay while the domestic economy is threatened by influx of Chinese capital and debt,” declared Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

PM is participating in the coalition United Workers SONA which will mobilize on Monday afternoon. The United Workers SONA coalition will then join up with other broad networks for the United People’s SONA.

“We believe that the reason President Duterte has not signed the SOT bill up to now is the strong lobby of employers for a veto. Should President Duterte surrender to the demand to veto the bill, then he reveals where he stands on the class war between the workers and capitalists on contractualization. A presidential veto will just be another betrayal of his promise to workers,” argued Magtubo.

He insisted that “Contrary to the wild claim of employers that the security of tenure bill is superfluous because endo has already been ended with DO 173 and EO 51, numerous loopholes allow the proliferation of contractual workers. The security of tenure bill will not end endo and will not stop contractualization because it is a weak version of the proposed law.”

In the counter-SONA rally, aside from pushing for an end to endo, workers are also clamoring for a reform of the wage-setting mechanism.

“We welcome the announcement by the Department of Labor and Employment that it will undertake a study on the current wage system in response to the calls to abolish the regional wage boards. Although we fear that powerful lobby by employers will once more scuttle any real reform,” asserted Magtubo.

PM is batting for the abolition of the regional wage boards and its replacement by a National Wage Commission which will fix a national minimum wage based on the cost of living. The group is also calling for the provision of a minimum basic income for workers in the SME sector which is unregulated and exempted from the minimum wage setting.

July 19, 2019

Friday, July 12, 2019

Labor group to Probinsyano rep: Resign or be axed



The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) demanded that Ang Probinsyano partylist representative Alfred de los Santos resign as congressman if he is truly sorry for punching a waiter in Legazpi, Albay. “If de los Santos won’t voluntarily resign then he must be axed by his partylist group or the House Ethics Committee,” declared Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

He added that “A student who punches his peer is liable to be expelled from school. A worker who hits a customer will definitely be terminated, and will probably be arrested and jailed. But de los Santos is still walking free and engaging in verbal acrobatics to assuage the public outrage.”

“A partylist rep should bravely stand up for labor and take the government to task for the country being named as among the 10 worst countries for workers. Instead we have the sad spectacle of Ang Probinsyano rep de los Santos caught punching an ordinary worker,” Magtubo averred.

He furthered that “The partylist system has been well and truly been bastardized. On the one hand, we have a partylist rep who attacks and abuses a lowly worker. On the other hand, the richest House representative is a partylist congressman.” Magtubo was a factory worker when he was a pioneer partylist rep back in 1998.

“Obviously the partylist system has to be overhauled if it is to be true to the Constitutional mandate that it be a mechanism to give representation and voice to the marginalized. Unfortunately it is too much to ask of the present Congress which is packed by trapos to reform the broken partylist and electoral system,” Magtubo ended. 

July 12, 2019

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Workers picket DOLE to demand investigation of union organizer killing



Members of the group Partido Manggagawa (PM) picketed this morning the main office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to demand that the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (NTIPC) be convened to investigate the killing of a union organizer in Cavite. The mass action coincides with the 40th day since the brutal shooting of Dennis Sequeña, vice chair of the PM-Cavite chapter and veteran union organizer.

“We condemn the glaring inaction and chilling silence of the DOLE on the killing of our colleague Dennis. Today marks 40 days since his murder, and the relevant government agencies have so far failed to make any headway in the investigation of the case,” stated Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

The NTIPC, sitting as the National Tripartite Monitoring Body (NTMB), is tasked to investigate complaints of labor-related extra-judicial killings. The NTMB was formed in response to the recommendations of a high level mission by the International Labor Organization in 2009.

The mass action today over the murder of Sequeña comes in the wake of the Philippines being named among the ten worse countries for workers. The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the global body of organized labor, has once again listed the country for systematic violations of labor rights.

Sequeña was killed in broad daylight by a gunman in the middle of a meeting with ecozone workers last June 2. Local and international labor groups, including the labor coalition Nagkaisa and the ITUC, condemned the murder, called on the DOLE to stop the killings of unionists and investigate these cases.

“It is sad and frustrating to note that such basic acts of workers self-organization, protected no less by our Constitution and several international conventions and treaties, come at the price of the lives of countless labor organizers and rights defenders. Dennis’ murder and the appalling state of worker’s rights in ecozones simply confirm the report by the ITUC that the Philippines is among the ten most dangerous countries for unionists,” Magtubo explained.

PM also demanded that the DOLE enforce laws guaranteeing the freedom of association in ecozones in light of rampant management interference and intimidation against workers exercising their constitutional and human rights. Sequeña was actively assisting three unions at the time of his killing. This month several unions in the ecozones of Cavite are due to undergo certification elections but organizers are alleging that workers are “challenged by adversity and harassment by management.”

July 11, 2019

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Advisory: Picket tom vs DOLE inaction over killing of Cavite union organizer

Media Advisory
July 10, 2019
Partido Manggagawa
Contact Judy Ann Miranda @ 09228677522

DOLE picket re inaction over killing of Cavite union organizer

WHAT: Picket by workers over silence and inaction of DOLE on killings

WHEN: Tomorrow, July 11, 2019; 10:00 am

WHERE: DOLE main office, Intramuros

DETAILS:

On the occasion of the 40th day of the death of union organizer Dennis Sequena, scores of members of Partido Manggagawa including workers from Cavite will picket the DOLE main office tomorrow. The group is criticizing Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello for his silence and inaction on the killing of Sequena. Local and international groups have called on the DOLE, without success, for a statement condemning the brutal murder of Sequena and the convening of the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council to investigate.

PM is also demanding that DOLE enforce laws guaranteeing freedom of association at the ecozones in the light of rampant management interference. Five unions which Sequena was actively assisting just had certification elections last month or are due to face elections this month. For the third year running, the Philippines was on the list of 10 worst countries for workers due to systematic suppression of the labor rights. 

Friday, July 5, 2019

Labor group slams employers for end endo veto



The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) slammed employers for its call that President Rodrigo Duterte veto the security of tenure bill. “The demand of employers’ groups for a veto of the security of tenure bill exposes the raw greed of the capitalist class and their wanton desire to maintain the abusive system of contractualization. As it stands now, the security of tenure bill is already watered down but capitalists are not satisfied and want it totally killed,” asserted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

“Should President Duterte surrender to the demand to veto the bill, then he reveals where he stands on the class war between the workers and capitalists on contractualization. It has been three years since Duterte promised to abolish contractualization but millions of workers continue to suffer from this abusive scheme. A presidential veto will just be another betrayal of his promise to workers,” argued Magtubo.

Workers are set to continue pushing for a strong security of tenure law with the opening of Congress on July 22. Various labor groups are in talks for a coordinated march on the occasion of the SONA.

Magtubo stated that “Contrary to the wild claim of employers that the security of tenure bill is superfluous because endo has already been ended with DO 173 and EO 51, numerous loopholes allow the proliferation of contractual workers everywhere. The security of tenure bill will not end endo and will not stop contractualization because it is a weak version of the proposed law.”

The security of tenure bill passed by Congress is the version drafted by the Senate. Labor groups such as the labor coalition Nagkaisa pushed for the stronger version of the security of tenure bill which was passed by the House of Representatives.

“The differences between the Senate and House drafts of the bill should have been ironed out by a bicameral conference committee but magically the weak version was adopted in toto by Congress. The culprit for watering down the security of tenure bill was lobby by the Department of Finance and maneuvering by pro-capitalist senators,” explained Magtubo.

July 5, 2019

Friday, June 28, 2019

Company meddling in union elections slammed



The group Partido Manggagawa slammed the meddling of management in a union election held yesterday at the garments factory Dong Seung Inc. in the Cavite Economic Zone.

“Management blatantly interfered in the conduct of the elections in violation of the rules guaranteeing workers’ freedom of association. The company lawyer prevented representatives of the union legal counsel to enter the factory and observe the conduct of the election. For the duration of the election, no union legal representatives were in polling area thus putting the results of election in doubt,” stated Rene Magtubo, chair of PM.

Slain labor organizer Dennis Sequena had assisted workers of Dong Seung in organizing a union. Sequena was killed last June 2 in Tanza, Cavite while conducting a labor rights seminar for workers in the Cavite ecozone.

PM called on Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello to guarantee the sanctity of union elections and promote freedom of association in the ecozones in view of such gross violations and management interference.  Another certification election is being held today at another garments factory in the Cavite ecozone. Magtubo reminded the DOLE that the country has again been cited at the International Labor Organization annual conference this month for complaints of violations of freedom of association and collective bargaining.

“Meddling by the company lawyer of Dong Seung started well before the actual certification election. During the pre-election proceedings, the company lawyer opposed the participation of any legal counsels except for the employer. The employer was given the privilege of pollwatchers in violation of the bystander rule,” Magtubo averred.

He added that “The company lawyer demanded that two union officers can only be allowed to vote if they undermine their pending case at the National Labor Relations Commission by declaring that their complaint is not true. Is this not a clear case of blackmail? He also pushed for the inclusion of 112 voters in violation of the rule providing that employees regularized after the three-months prior are excluded. The company lawyer finally insisted that campaigning and distribution of sample ballots are prohibited!”

“Unfortunately the election officer from the DOLE provincial office—in a clear act of omission—allowed all of this flagrant management interference despite his power to administer the conduct of the certification election. The rules provide that management is only a bystander in a union election since workers’ have freedom of association. Workers do not interfere when investors and stockholders vote for the company board of directors. So why should employers meddle in elections among workers?,” Magtubo explained.

June 28, 2019

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Funeral/protest march tom for slain Cavite union organizer as more groups call for action on killings



Slain Cavite union organizer, Dennis Sequena, is to be buried tomorrow with his family and colleagues holding a funeral and protest march. International and local labor and human rights groups have called on government for action on his killing.

Sequena, vice chair of the Cavite chapter of Partido Manggagawa (PM) and also a partylist nominee of the group in the last elections, was shot and killed last June 2 while meeting a group of workers.

The funeral march will start tomorrow 9:00 am from the community of Workersville in Brgy. Punta, Tanza where he was killed and end in the Sta. Cruz Memorial Park in the same town. Last Sunday, scores of worker activists and community leaders attended a tribute to Sequena where he was honored as a “hero of epza workers.”

Aside from local workers’ groups like PM, Sentro and the Nagkaisa coalition, international labor and human rights organizations are calling on Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello to resolve the spate of killings of labor and human rights activists.

The International Trade Union Confederation representing 207 million workers in 163 countries has formally sent a letter to Bello and asked him to convene the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council to investigate the fatal shooting of Sequena. The Business and Human Rights Resource Center and the International Labor Rights Forum also issued statements condemning the killing of Sequena. The two international labor rights both worked with Sequena on issues workers rights of workers in the Cavite ecozone.




June 11, 2019


Media Advisory: Funeral & protest march for slain Cavite union organizer tom


Monday, June 10, 2019

Intl, local groups ask Bello to act on killing of Cavite union organizer



International and local labor groups are asking Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello for action on the killings of labor leaders after the fatal shooting of a union organizer in Cavite during a meeting of workers.

“We deplore the ongoing violence and assassinations targeting labour and human rights defenders in the Philippines. Extrajudicial killings must be stopped and the environment of impunity must come to an end. It is the responsibility of the government of the Philippines to ensure that the lives and personal security of workers and activists must be guaranteed and that they are able to exercise their basic rights without threats and fear,” stated Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The ITUC represents 207 million workers in 163 countries.

The ITUC letter to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello arose from the fatal shooting of Dennis Sequena, provincial leader of the Partido Manggagawa (PM) in Cavite, while meeting a group of ecozone workers last June 2.

The labor coalition Nagkaisa earlier called on the Department of Labor and Employment for urgent response on the death of Sequena.

“We demand action from Secretary Bello to stop the series of extra-judicial killings of labor activists and trade unionists. As Labor Secretary, he must raise a voice against these killings. And we ask him to immediately convene the National Tripartite Monitoring Body (NTMB) which has the mandate to probe labor-related EJK’s,” stated Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

The NTMB was formed in response to the recommendation of the International Labor Organization High Level Mission (ILO HLM) in 2009 to investigate violations of the freedom of association and killings of trade unionists.

Yesterday, scores of workers attended a tribute to Sequena at his wake in Workersville, Tanza, Cavite. He was honored a “hero of epza workers.” Epza is the popular term for the Cavite Economic Zone in Rosario which is the largest export processing area in the country.

Sequena is to be buried on the morning of June 12. Hundreds are expected to participate in the funeral march which will also be a protest to seek justice for his killing.


June 10, 2019

Monday, June 3, 2019

Group calls on Bello to act on killings of labor leaders


The group Partido Manggagawa (PM) called on Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello for action on the continued killings of labor leaders a day after the fatal shooting of a union organizer in Cavite during a meeting of workers.

“We demand action from Secretary Bello to stop the series of extra-judicial killings of labor activists and trade unionists. As Labor Secretary, he must raise a voice against these killings. And we ask him to immediately convene the National Tripartite Monitoring Body (NTMB) which has the mandate to probe labor-related EJK’s,” stated Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

The labor coalition Nagkaisa has likewise called on the Department of Labor and Employment for urgent response on the death of Sequena. The NTMB was formed in response to the recommendation of the International Labor Organization High Level Mission (ILO HLM) in 2009 to investigate violations of the freedom of association and killings of trade unionists.

“The shooting of Dennis while he was conducting a labor rights seminar is a particular blatant act of violence against workers exercising their freedom of association. This should not be happening 10 years after the ILO HLM,” Magtubo insisted.


Sequena is a National Council member of PM and vice chair of its provincial chapter in Cavite. He is the second PM labor activist killed since 2016. Orlando Abangan, PM-Cebu leader and informal worker organizer of the labor center Sentro, was shot and killed in September 2016.

Earlier, Victoriano Embang, president of the sugar workers association of Hacienda Maria Cecilia, Isabela in Negros Occidental was shot and killed in December 2012. Rolando Pango, a farm worker leader in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental was ambushed in November 2014. Both Embang and Pango were PM leaders involved in helping workers embroiled in labor and agrarian disputes.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) named the Philippines as one among the worst countries in 2018 for trade unionists due to systematic violations of labor rights and the continued killings of worker leaders.

June 3, 2019

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Advisory: Presscon vs proposed Freeport Area of Bataan expanded charter

Media Advisory
Contact: Christian Ocampo +639072404488

Press Conference:
People of Mariveles, Bataan Against Senate Bill 2133: An Act Amending and Expanding the Charter of the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB)

Where: Cielo's Restaurant, FAB, Mariveles

When: June 3, 2019, Monday, 11:00 a.m.

Various groups and local government officials of Mariveles Bataan will converge and hold a press conference to denounce the railroaded Senate Bill 2133, which already passed the Bicameral Committee last week without consultation with the people involved. This Bill, if passed into law, will give the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) summary demolition powers, removes the residential character of the FAB, and expands its territory to include several baranggays of Mariveles, among others. The people of Mariveles strongly condems these anti-people policies contained in the enrolled bill, and would like to ask President Duterte to veto it.

Your presence in this press conference is highly requested. Thank you. ###

Labor group condemns killing of union organizer in Cavite



The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) condemned the killing of the vice chairperson of its Cavite chapter. The group called on the authorities to investigate and solve the killing.

Dennis Sequena was shot and killed earlier today in Brgy. Bunga, Tanza, Cavite while meeting a group of workers. He was shot by a gunman who arrived riding in tandem on a motorcycle. The gunman and his accomplice escaped using the same motorcycle. Sequena was brought by his PM colleagues to the General Trias Maternity and Pediatric Hospital but doctors failed to revive him.

“We call on the police to act with dispatch and catch the perpetrators of the crime. Dennis is a community leader and has no personal enemies. We believe this is an extra-judicial killing for Dennis’ work as a labor organizer,” stated Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

Sequena was a union organizer and partylist nominee of the group in the just concluded elections. He was active in assisting Cavite workers facing labor problems and advising workers who are unionizing as a means to improve wages and working conditions.

Magtubo also called on Congress to launch a congressional investigation on the extra-judicial killing of labor organizers and union activists.

June 2, 2019

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

NO HARMONIZATION, NO SUPPORT FOR END ENDO LEGISLATION

JOINT PRESS STATEMENT
Alliance of General Unions, Institutions and Labor Associations (Aguila)
Federation of Free Workers (FFW)
Partido Manggagawa (PM)
Philippine Airlines Empoyees Association (PALEA)
Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro)

We, various labor groups comprising the majority of NAGKAISA, are denouncing, in strongest possible term, the passage of the non-harmonized version of the Security of Tenure (SOT) bills.  This is clearly a product of treachery by the leadership of both Houses, working in cahoots with employers, to hijack the process to undermine workers’ final push for a better law through the harmonization of HB6908 and SB1826 at the bicam level. 

With the House adopting SB 1826 en toto, our dream of having stronger anti-contractualization provisions in the Labor Code is dead! 

It was arbitrary on the part of the House leadership to bypass the House panel tasked to harmonize the provisions on the SOT bills, particularly: 

1. Prohibition of fixed-term employment and of multi-layered contracting found in the HOR version must be incorporated in the Senate version. 

2. The strong provisions of the HB 6908 on fines and penalties, including closures of agencies guilty of labor only contracting. 

3. The derogation of solidary liability of the principal and the contractors in the Senate version, when Title II, Book III was inserted, must be corrected. 

An impending anti-endo legislation that does not meet these bottom line issues is not worthy of support.  Absent the harmonization of this demand in the final version, our collective response is outright rejection.

29 May 2019

Monday, May 27, 2019

Union busting at Kohl’s supplier in the Philippines



Workers at a Kohl’s supplier in the biggest export zone in the Philippines are complaining of management interference in the exercise of their freedom of association. The newly formed workers union at Daegyoung Apparel Inc. is calling on Kohl’s to remediate the violations of their supplier in line with their code of conduct.

The workers of Daegyoung formed a union in April with the aim of resolving workplace grievances such as low pay, lack of benefits, precarious work and violation of labor standards. As soon as management learned of the formation of the union, supervisors and line leaders started talking to workers to withdraw support from the union or desist from enlisting with the union.

Workers were threatened that the company will shutdown if the union pushes through. At the start, management personnel blatantly asked workers to sign anti-union statements at the production lines. Management personnel also openly held a town hall meeting in the factory canteen and repeated the threat of a factory closure. Later, workers were asked to go in pairs to management offices where they were subjected to anti-union propaganda.

In response to management’s union busting maneuvers, the union filed for preventive mediation with the Labor Department. Nothing was resolved in the first hearing. Another hearing is set this week.

The union has also filed a petition for certification elections and in the proceedings, management submitted it opposition and offered separation pay to workers—moves which evidently tie in with the company’s union busting scheme.

Korean-owned Daegyoung employs some 1,000 workers, mostly women. Workers estimate that around 80% of the production is earmarked for Kohl’s. The factory is located in the Cavite Economic Zone in the industrial town of Rosario, Cavite.