Monday, April 30, 2018

Workers warn of unemployment with OFW’s going back, Boracay closure and TRAIN impact



On the eve of Labor Day, the workers group Partido Manggagawa (PM) warned of rising unemployment with a call from President Rodrigo Duterte for Kuwaiti OFW’s to come home, the six-month closure of Boracay and the impact of TRAIN on the economy.

As part of the buildup for the massive Labor Day indignation rally, the union Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) is holding a motorcade around Ayala Ave. this afternoon while members of PM-Kabataan distribute leaflets appealing for participation in tomorrow’s protest.

Tomorrow, PM is participating in the labor unity rally in Manila and other key cities to slam the President for his broken promise of ending endo. Aside from Manila, PM chapters in Cebu, Bacolod, Davao and General Santos are mobilizing for the nationwide Labor Day commemoration. The group is calling for the government to drop the chacha and focus instead on regular jobs and a living wage.

 “Where are the jobs for the 260,000 OFW’s deployed in Kuwait, the 27,000 registered and unregistered workers displaced in Boracay, the 900 workers laidoff by Coca-Cola due to the TRAIN law, the 600,000 college graduates and thousands more of K-12 graduates,” declared Judy Ann Miranda, PM secretary-general.

The group is alarmed as well with the rising inflation together with worsening unemployment. Economists predict that inflation will hit 4.6% this April. Inflation has steadily climbed every month from just 2.9% last December.

Last week, PM held a protest at the offices of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) to highlight its call for decent jobs for young workers and slam rising inflation.

Miranda cited a recently released report by the World Bank about the lack of quality jobs in the country and the worsening inequality as a result.

She added “And if these young and old workers are lucky enough to find a job, will it be regular and pay a living wage? We all know that the reason OFW’s go abroad is because of lack of decent jobs in the Philippines. So why will Kuwaiti OFW’s fly back home when nothing has changed in the jobs situation in the Philippines?”

Miranda insisted that “President Duterte is again making a personal promise, this time of providing jobs for OFW’s. But he has yet to deliver on his campaign promise two years go to end endo the moment he assumes the presidency. Mr. President, not another broken promise.”

April 30, 2018

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Youth group asks: Are there decent jobs for OFW’s going home plus new graduates?



In reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for some 260,000 OFW’s in Kuwait to come home, the youth group Partido Manggagawa-Kabataan (PMK) asked if there are decent jobs awaiting them in the Philippines.

“We welcome our parents coming home from Kuwait so families can be reunited. But are there regular jobs paying living wages for them and the 600,000 new graduates plus thousands more finishing K-12 that won’t go to college? The reason OFW’s go to Kuwait and elsewhere is because of lack of decent jobs in the Philippines,” asserted Kim Dolojo, PMK spokesperson and a PUP student.

Last week, PMK held a protest at the offices of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) to highlight its call for decent jobs for young workers.

“President Duterte is again making a personal promise, this time of providing jobs for OFW’s. But he has yet to deliver on his campaign promise two years go to end endo the moment he assumes the presidency. Mr. President, not another broken promise,” Dolojo warned.

She added that “So this Labor Day, PMK members are joining Nagkaisa, KMU and other labor groups is uniting to denounce the administration’s broken promises and demanding regular jobs for Filipinos.”

Dolojo insisted that “In 2016, 78% of the jobless were 15 to 34 years old. Half of them were aged 24 years old or below. A diploma is no antidote to unemployment as 34% of the unemployed had actually gone to college and 20% were college graduates!”

PMK is raising a red flag as the World Bank recently released a report about the lack of quality jobs in the country and the worsening inequality as a result. The group is likewise questioning ECOP for the Jobstreet data that only 24% of employers are willing to hire K-12 graduates.

“An employers organization, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry earlier questioned that the minimum number of hours required of senior high school students are not enough to train and qualify them for entry-level work,” Dolojo explained.

She cited the International Labour Organization (ILO) report titled “Global Employment Trends for Youth 2017: Paths to a better working future,” that stated that youth unemployment rate for Southeast Asia and the Pacific is seen to rise from 11.7 percent in 2016 to 12 percent in 2017, and to 12.2 percent in 2018.

Partido Manggagawa-Kabataan
April 29, 2018


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Cavite workers vote to go on strike in response to mass firing


Workers of a garments factory in the Cavite ecozone voted yesterday to go on strike in response to the mass termination of 16 union officers. The law provides a seven-day notification period before any actual work stoppage can be launched by workers of Dong Seung Inc. The National Conciliation and Mediation Board have called for a conciliation meeting between the company and the union on Monday.

Yesterday scores of Dong Seung workers and their supporters trooped to the Cavite ecozone main gate to protest the union busting and call for respect for freedom of association. The rally followed a forum in which Cavite ecozone workers aired their grievances about low pay, insecure jobs, verbal harassment and excessive work quotas.

The Dong Seung union officers were served notices of termination in their houses by an HR officer of the company last April 12. They were supposed to back to work on April 13 as part of the agreement. An earlier strike notice was precipitated by the one-month suspension of the 16 union officers.

“The firing of all 16 union officers, including the union president, is just the latest in a series of union busting moves by management. Moreover it is a maneuver done in bad faith as the union just withdrew a notice of strike earlier filed. The retraction of the strike was part of an agreement mediated by the Labor Department wherein workers will be accepted back to work after an investigation by management,” explained Juanito Diaz, president of the Dong Seung Workers Union-Independent.

Dong Seung Inc. is a Korean-owned apparel manufacturer inside the Cavite Economic Zone, the country’s biggest government-run export processing estate. It manufactures garments for global brands Macy’s and Ann Taylor. Dong Seung workers are asking Macy’s and Ann Taylor to remediate the code of conduct violations of its supplier.

Diaz declared that “Tama na. Sobra na. Oras na para igalang ang karapatang mag-unyon para mapabuti ang kalagayan ng mga manggagawa. Workers in the Cavite ecozone are organizing to improve their wages and working conditions but the response of companies is to bust unions and harass workers.”

The union had filed a petition for certification elections in the company last December. Immediately after, the union alleged that management started harassing officers and members. Unionists were denied loans or were forced to withdraw support for the union in return for access to loans. Union leaders were transferred to different production lines and a union officer was demoted from mechanic to sewer.

Then in the latter part of March, management suspended for 30 days all union officers on the pretext that they smeared the company by seeking action from the factory customers regarding violations of freedom of association and labor standards.


Photos of the Dong Seung workers rally can be accessed at FB page of Partido Manggagawa: https://www.facebook.com/partidomanggagawa/

April 28, 2018

Friday, April 27, 2018

Wage hike is loose change in face of rising inflation—Calabarzon workers



Calabarzon workers slammed the hike in minimum wages in the region as “loose change that will be wiped out by rising inflation.” Several labor groups active in Calabarzon trooped this afternoon to the main gate of the Cavite Economic Zone, the country’s biggest government-managed export processing zone, to protest low pay and union busting.

The regional wage board in Calabarzon ordered pay hikes of P14 to P21.50 thus increasing minimum wages to P303 to P400 depending on the area. The minimum wage hike takes effect tomorrow. The last wage hike in the region was in July 2016.

“A 4.6% rise in prices will erase the P16.50 minimum wage increase in Rosario. From 2.9% last December, inflation has steadily risen to 4.3% this March. By the time the wage hike is implemented tomorrow, it will not redound to any real wage improvement,” asserted Dennis Sequena, coordinator of the Cavite chapter of Partido Manggagawa (PM).

More than a hundred members of labor groups PM, Sentro, Samahang Nagkakaisa ng Cavite, and Katipunan ng Manggagawang Pilipino picketed the Cavite ecozone. The mass action is also a buildup to the massive labor unity rally of workers for the Labor Day commemoration on Monday.

“Workers in the Cavite ecozone are organizing to improve their wages and working conditions but capitalists are illegally busting unions and harassing workers,” Sequena explained.

Last week, garments factory Dong Seung Inc. at the Cavite ecozone terminated en masse all 16 union officers including the union president. In response, the union filed a notice of strike and a strike vote will be held tomorrow. Yesterday management did not attend the mediation meeting convened by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB).

Meanwhile, a complaint for harassment was filed by the union at another apparel company, Jisoo Garments Manufacturing Corp. Jisoo workers are alleging that management is behind a falsification case filed against union officers. The case came just after a certification election was held in the company. Among the grievances of workers at Dong Seung and Jisoo that led to unionization was that salaries for all workers, new or old, including people who have worked for several years, remained stuck at the minimum level.

PM also criticized the two-tiered wage system in Calabarzon for being an instrument for cheapening wages. Sequena insisted that “In the two-tiered system, the minimum wage is just a floor wage that will be supplemented by productivity-based increases. But companies in the Cavite ecozone do not provide for productivity pay hikes even though labor productivity has continuously grown as measured by the annual GDP growth.”

April 27, 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Workers demand "stop to chacha, shift to chicha"


In response to the latest survey on people's concerns, the militant labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) today called on the administration to drop charter change and shift it focus to poverty eradication.

“The pervasiveness of poverty as a result of low wages, high prices of goods and services, unemployment and lack of quality jobs cannot be swept under the rug by a more sensational war on drugs, the ambitious plan to build-build-build, or by shifting our form of government into federalism,” argued Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

Among the group's demands for the coming Labor Day rally is opposition to the charter change initiative of the government.

"Workers say chicha hindi chacha. For three consecutive years now, working class issues such as wage hike, controlling inflation, reducing poverty and job creation remained as Filipinos top concerns while charter change or chacha is at the bottom of the list," insisted Magtubo.

Chicha is a Filipino slang for food, but for the labor group, its meaning expands to other rights and entitlements that enable workers to raise their standard of living.  
The other day dozens of PM members among workers, women and youth led a picket at the Department of Trade and Industry office in Makati to assail government's inaction on inflation and its pro-endo policy. The protest was a buildup to the massive labor unity mobilization planned on May 1 to push for workers' demands such as regular jobs and a living wage.

According to Magtubo, poverty concerns had always been in need of immediate action and unless addressed in a holistic manner, these issues will continue to hound any administration. He added that the failure of President Duterte and his Congress to stop contractualization, abolish the regional wage boards, and to control the rising prices of goods and services due to the imposition of new taxes will always’s be viewed by the working class as a regression rather than an improvement in their quality of life. 

The most recent Ulat sa Bayan report by Pulse Asia revealed that the first three concerns remained to be the issues that most Filipinos want the Duterte administration to address. The survey conducted between March 23-28, 2018 showed that wage hike, controlling inflation and reducing poverty were the top three concerns while charter change landed last in the list with only 3% of Filipinos demanding immediate action for it from the President.

Survey respondents were asked by Pulse Asia the following questions: 
“Sa mga sumusunod na isyung pambansa, pakisabi ang tatlong isyung dapat aksyunan agad ng administrasyon ni Presidente Rodrigo R. Duterte. Maari kayong magbanggit ng iba pa na wala sa listahan. Alin po ang unang isyung dapat aksyunan agad ng kasalukuyang administrasyon? Ano ang pangalawa? Ano ang Pangatlo?” 

Magtubo said the same sentiments will surely be expressed by workers who will be mobilizing themselves nationwide in the coming Labor Day celebration.

April 25, 2018

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Workers are more concerned with chicha, not chacha


It’s chicha, hindi chacha. For three consecutive years now, working class issues such as wage hike, controlling inflation, reducing poverty and job creation remained as Filipinos top concerns while charter change or chacha just hang around to be the least. 

In reaction to this news, the labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) said: “The pervasiveness of poverty as a result of low wages, high prices of goods and services, unemployment and lack of quality jobs cannot be swept under the rug by a more sensational war on drugs, the ambitious plan to build-build-build, or by shifting our form of government into federalism.” 

Yesterday dozens of PM members among workers, women and youth led a picket at the Department of Trade and Industry office in Makati to assail government's inaction on inflation and its pro-endo policy. The protest was a buildup to the massive labor unity mobilization planned on May 1 to push for workers' demands such as regular jobs and a living wage.

According to PM chair Renato Magtubo, poverty concerns had always been in need of immediate action and unless addressed in a holistic manner, these issues will continue to hound any administration. 

“Ang mas kailangan ng mga Pilipino ay chicha, hindi chacha,” said Magtubo, adding that the failure of President Duterte and his Congress to stop contractualization, abolish the regional wage boards, and to control the rising prices of goods and services due to the imposition of new taxes will always’s be viewed by the working class as a regression rather than an improvement in their quality of life. 

Chicha is a Filipino slang for food, but for the labor group, its meaning expands to other rights and entitlements that enable workers to raise their standard of living. 

The most recent Ulat sa Bayan report by Pulse Asia revealed that the first three concerns remained to be the issues that most Filipinos want the Duterte administration to address. The survey conducted between March 23-28, 2018 showed that wage hike, controlling inflation and reducing poverty were the top three concerns while charter change landed last in the list with only 3% of Filipinos demanding immediate action for it from the President. 

Survey respondents were asked by Pulse Asia the following questions: 
“Sa mga sumusunod na isyung pambansa, pakisabi ang tatlong isyung dapat aksyunan agad ng administrasyon ni Presidente Rodrigo R. Duterte. Maari kayong magbanggit ng iba pa na wala sa listahan. Alin po ang unang isyung dapat aksyunan agad ng kasalukuyang administrasyon? Ano ang pangalawa? Ano ang Pangatlo?” 

Magtubo said the same sentiments will surely be expressed by workers who will be mobilizing themselves nationwide in the coming Labor Day celebration. 

April 24, 2018

Monday, April 23, 2018

Women and youth slam DTI & ECOP for pro-endo lobby





Women and youth members of the militant Partido Manggagawa (PM) trooped this morning to the offices of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) to protest their pro-endo lobby. “Instead of taming inflation to protect consumers, DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez, has been promoting endo to advance the interests of capitalists,” stated Judy Ann Miranda, PM Secretary General.

Some 100 PMK and women members of PM together with a contingent from the newly formed Kapatiran ng mga Unyon at Samahang Manggagawa joined the picket today against the DTI and ECOP for their “blackmail against regular jobs.” The rally comes after DTI and ECOP’s statements that ending endo will scare investors and the announcement of Malacanang that President Duterte is not signing an EO to make direct hiring the norm in employment.

“DTI has been so busy conspiring with capitalists against the workers’ campaign versus endo while prices have steadily increased since the TRAIN law was implemented this year. The 3.6% average inflation for the first quarter of 2018 is the highest in four years. Further, monthly inflation has moved from 2.9% in December 2017 to 3.4% in January 2018 then onto 3.8% this February and 4.3% last March. Thus the trend is go beyond 4.3% as the months go by this year,” Miranda explained.

Meanwhile the youth group Partido Manggagawa-Kabataan (PMK) expressed concern at the lack of jobs awaiting the hundreds of thousands of new graduates this year. “There are not enough jobs for the 600,000 college graduates and thousands more of K-12 graduates. Even worse, endo jobs not decent work awaits young workers entering the labor force,” asserted Kimberly Dolojo, a PUP student and a PMK spokesperson.

Gerry Rivera of the Kapatiran ng mga Unyon at Samahang Manggagawa, whose rationale is to foster solidarity among workers in struggle, declared that “President Rodrigo Duterte has betrayed the workers and surrendered to the employers lobby for his refusal to sign an EO to make direct hiring the norm in employment relations. The massive labor unity rally on Labor Day will be a nationwide expression of indignation against the government’s endo policy.”

PMK is raising a red flag as the World Bank recently released a report about the lack of quality jobs in the country and the worsening inequality as a result. The group is likewise questioning ECOP for the Jobstreet data that only 24% of employers are willing to hire K-12 graduates.

Dolojo insisted that “In 2016, 78% of the jobless were 15 to 34 years old. Half of them were aged 24 years old or below. A diploma is no antidote to unemployment as 34% of the unemployed had actually gone to college and 20% were college graduates!”

Photos of the rally can be accessed at PM’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/partidomanggagawa

April 23, 2018

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Youth group concerned at lack of jobs for new graduates



(Photo from Rappler)
The youth group Partido Manggagawa-Kabataan (PMK) expressed concern at the lack of jobs awaiting the hundreds of thousands of new graduates this year. Tomorrow, PMK is holding a protest at the offices of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) to highlight its call for decent jobs for young workers.

“Are there enough jobs for 600,000 college graduates and thousands more of K-12 graduates immediately entering the labor force? Further, are there decent jobs awaiting them or just more of the usual endo work?,” asked Rea Foliente of PMK.

PMK is the youth wing of the militant Partido Manggagawa. PM is among the labor groups active in the campaign to end contractualization and has criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for his refusal to sign an EO to make direct hiring the norm in employment relations.

PMK is raising a red flag as the World Bank recently released a report about the lack of quality jobs in the country and the worsening inequality as a result. The group is likewise questioning ECOP for the Jobstreet data that only 24% of employers are willing to hire K-12 graduates.

Foliente insisted that “In 2016, 78% of the jobless were 15 to 34 years old. Half of them were aged 24 years old or below. A diploma is no antidote to unemployment as 34% of the unemployed had actually gone to college and 20% were college graduates!”

She added that “The youth challenge the DTI and ECOP to show us the numbers. How many graduates can be absorbed in the labor force? And will the work be regular or dead-end contractual jobs in agencies?”

“Another employers organization, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry earlier questioned that the minimum number of hours required of senior high school students are not enough to train and qualify them for entry-level work,” Foliente explained.

Some 100 PMK and women members of PM together with contingents from the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) and Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Labor Union will join the protest tomorrow against the DTI and ECOP for their pro-endo lobby and scare tactics against regular jobs. The rally comes after the announcement of Malacanang that President Duterte is not signing an EO to make direct hiring the norm in employment.

Foliente cited the International Labour Organization (ILO) report titled “Global Employment Trends for Youth 2017: Paths to a better working future,” that stated that youth unemployment rate for Southeast Asia and the Pacific is seen to rise from 11.7 percent in 2016 to 12 percent in 2017, and to 12.2 percent in 2018. 

April 22, 2018

Partido Manggagawa-Kabataan

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Strike notice filed anew as Cavite factory fires unionists en masse



A notice of strike has been filed again by workers of a garments factory in the Cavite ecozone in response to the mass termination of 16 union officers. The strike notice was filed yesterday by the union at the Dong Seung Inc., a Korean-owned apparel manufacturer inside the Cavite Economic Zone, the country’s biggest government-run export processing estate.

“The firing of all 16 union officers, including the union president, is just the latest in a series of union busting moves by management. Moreover it is a maneuver done in bad faith as the union just withdrew a notice of strike earlier filed. The retraction of the strike was part of an agreement mediated by the Labor Department wherein workers will be accepted back to work after an investigation by management,” explained Dennis Sequena, coordinator of Partido Manggagawa (PM), which is assisting the Dong Seung workers.

PM announced that a big rally of some 1,000 workers is to be held on April 28 at the Cavite ecozone to protest the union busting at Dong Seung and other factories.

Sequena declared that “Tama na. Sobra na. Oras na para igalang ang karapatang mag-unyon para mapabuti ang kalagayan ng mga manggagawa. Workers in the Cavite ecozone are organizing to improve their wages and working conditions but the response of companies is to bust unions and harass workers.”

The Dong Seung union officers were served notices of termination in their houses by an HR officer of the company last Thursday. They were supposed to back to work yesterday as part of the agreement. The original strike notice was caused by the one-month suspension of the 16 union officers.

The union had filed a petition for certification elections in the company last December. Immediately after, the union alleged that management started harassing officers and members. Unionists were denied loans or were forced to withdraw support for the union in return for access to loans. Union leaders were transferred to different production lines and a union officer was demoted from mechanic to sewer.

Then in the latter part of March, management suspended for 30 days all union officers on the pretext that they smeared the company by seeking action from the factory customers regarding violations of freedom of association and labor standards.

Dong Seung produces garments for global brands Macy’s and Ann Taylor. The company  is owned by the Korean multinational Suy Co. which also owns LS Phils. and Lee & Choi in the Cavite ecozone and other factories in Indonesia, Vietnam and Guatemala.

April 21, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

Advisory: Endo protest tom vs DTI, ECOP by youth, women and workers

Media Advisory
April 22, 2018
Partido Manggagawa
Contact Judy Ann Miranda @ 09228677522

Endo protest tom vs DTI, ECOP by youth, women and workers

WHAT: 100 youth, women & workers to rally vs DTI, ECOP

WHEN: Tomorrow, April 23 (Monday), 9:00 am

WHERE: Offices of DTI (Trade and Industry Bldg) then ECOP (ECC Bldg) near Buendia cor Makati Ave., Assembly at Petron gas station

DETAILS:

Some 100 youth and women members of Partido Manggagawa (PM) together with contingents from the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) and Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Labor Union will hold a protest against the DTI and ECOP for their pro-endo lobby and scare tactics against regular jobs.

The protest comes after the announcement of Malacanang that President Duterte is not signing an EO to make direct hiring the norm in employment.

Women members of PM will lambast DTI for its anti-worker and anti-consumer position of promoting contractualization instead of regulating the continuous increase in prices of basic commodities in the wake of the passage of the TRAIN law.

Members of PM-Kabataan (PMK) will also slam ECOP for the proliferation of endo jobs for graduates. With some 600,00 graduates about to enter the labor force, PMK is raising a red flag as the World Bank recently released a report about the lack of quality jobs in the country and the worsening inequality as a result. PMK is likewise questioning ECOP for the Jobstreet data that only 24% of employers are willing to hire K-12 graduates. ###

The President has reneged on his promise but we will continue to fight! - Nagkaisa!



By opting not to issue an EO and instead leaving it to Congress to address widespread contractualization of labor that has destroyed workers’ security of tenure and their exercise of other fundamental rights to form unions and collectively bargain, PDigong has effectively reneged on his campaign promise to end endo.

Ang EO ay naging ping pong. Sa halip na tuparin ang kanyang pangako, parang bola lang ito na ipinasa niya sa kongreso kung saan higit na malakas ang impluwensiya ng mga kapitalista at mga kakampi nito.

The move of Duterte to inhibit himself from exercising his executive powers to prohibit contractualization will send the wrong signal to members of Congress, who, for the last two years, were waiting for a clear policy guidance from the President on the issue of endo.

He made workers wait for more than two years, only to end up at the doorsteps of Congress begging for a stricter version of anti-contractualization bills.

Binigo ni PDigong ang mga manggagawa na bumoto sa kanya dahil sa kanyang pangakong wakasan ang kontraktwalisasyon. Inilantad ni PDigong ang tunay niyang papanigan sa pagitan ng interes ng manggagawa at kapitalista.

But the fight is not yet over. This only proves that the force of reason does not prevail in favor of labor as there are much powerful forces like the employers and their organizations that can sway the decision of the President.

We call on all labor groups to close rank, launch protest actions and convert the Labor Day commemoration as national day of workers indignation and protest.

Nagkaisa Labor Coalition
April 20, 2018

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Duterte’s refusal to sign EO is an epic fail on endo promise



The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) today criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for failing to follow through on his campaign promise to end contractualization. In response, the group appealed for the labor movement to make Labor Day a national day of protest.

Rene Magtubo, PM national chair, asserted that “Tinimbang si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte pero napatunayan siyang kulang. The President refused to exercise executive action in signing the labor drafted EO to make direct hiring the norm in employment. The buck stops with the President and he cannot pass the burden to Congress.”

“By opting not to issue an EO and instead leaving it to Congress to address widespread contractualization of labor that has gravely affected workers’ security of tenure and their exercise of other fundamental rights to form unions and collectively bargain, the President has effectively reneged with his campaign promise,” he added.

PM explained that the labor-drafted EO is a reasonable measure but that employers take a hardline position against direct hiring of workers. “Labor's position that direct hiring be the norm with exemptions to such rule is a compromise that balances employers' arguments that certain jobs need flexibility. But such exemptions should be vetted by the Labor Secretary in consultation with the National Tripartite Council. The labor-drafted EO is a paradigm shift in that contracting out will not anymore be the sole prerogative of management but will instead be subject to tripartite consensus. In this way, the gross abuses of contractualization will be regulated and stopped. But employers don't want any compromise formula to unli contractualization. They want to have their cake and eat it too. Thus their fairy tale-cum-horror stories about scared investors,” Magtubo expounded.

Magtubo argued that “Workers have not forgotten Duterte’s campaign promise to end contractualization in one week and his strong words that he will accept no compromise on ending endo which he called ‘anti-people.’ Where is the political will if not iron fist in ending endo?”

He insisted that “Duterte cannot do a Pontius Pilate by passing the ball to Congress where capitalists and their allies are obviously well entrenched. Today the President has undeniably betrayed the mass of workers who voted or are supporting him because of his pledge to abolish contractualization.”

“In the class struggle between workers and capitalists on the keystone issue of regular jobs, Duterte has exposed who he sides with. The emperor is wearing no clothes. Duterte is the CEO of the capitalist class in the country. He is not a leftist or socialist president as he has boasted repeatedly,” Magtubo averred.

However PM declared that “The fight is not yet over. This only proves that the force of reason will not prevail for the interest of the workers because there are more powerful forces like the employers and their organizations that can influence the President.”

Magtubo declared that “We call on all labor groups to close rank, launch protest actions and convert the coming Labor Day commemoration as a national day of workers indignation and protest.”

April 19, 2018

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Only bad investors are scared of regular workforce


Business groups are now in full force defending the status quo by opposing the workers’ demand to reinstate direct hiring as the principal norm of employment in the country. The ECOP, PCCI, PMAP, foreign chambers of commerce and the DTI have now become riding-in-tandems raring to shoot down the momentum of the anti-endo campaign being waged by labor. 

Business groups, in tandem with DTI, collectively argue that ending ‘endo’ will scare off investors. Our collective response to their deceptive argument:  Only bad investors are scared of a regular workforce. Luring investors to invest because they can avail of contractual workers with no security of tenure, low wages and benefits is a policy of profit first before anything else. Labor groups will never submit to this kind of blackmail. 

Labor's position that direct hiring be the norm with exemptions to such rule is a compromise that balances employers' arguments that certain jobs need flexibility. Such exemptions should be vetted by the Labor Secretary in consultation with the National Tripartite Council. The labor-drafted EO is a paradigm shift in that contracting out will not anymore be the sole prerogative of management but will instead be subject to tripartite consensus. In this way, the gross abuses of contractualization will be regulated and stopped.

But employers don't want any compromise formula to unli contractualization. They want to have their cake and eat it too. Thus their fairy tale-cum-horror stories about scared investors.

Investments come and go not because of rigid employment regulations as labor cost is but a small fraction of the over-all costs in producing goods and services. Studies show that rather investments come where there is economic and political stability in any country. 

Evidently the DTI and employers group’s bottom line in rejecting the labor-drafted EO is the preservation of their unlimited exercise of prerogative, never mind if workers have their own fundamental freedoms to enjoy like the rights to security of tenure, collectively bargain, and to have a fair share in the product of their labor. 
What they wanted to protect were not only their own businesses but also their favouredmiddlemen in manning agencies and labor cooperatives. Herein lays the main contradiction – either direct hiring or hiring through a middleman.  The former is a bilateral form of employment, the later is trilateral. Resolving this structural injustice is what workers had been fighting for in the last two decades. 

Immoral trade 

As a recognized and legitimized exercise of business prerogative during the last two or three decades, contractualization has effectively undermined workers’ rights to security of tenure, freedom of association, to bargain collectively with their employer to improve their working conditions, and to raise their standards of living. This is because as a system, it allowed the capitalists and their favoured ‘middlemen’ to conduct the most immoral of all trades in modern times -- labor contracting.  

Contractualization can therefore be considered as modern slavery, with employers and their middlemen facilitating the modern trade of labor power analogous to ancient forms of slavery. Today’s middlemen - represented by manpower agencies, service providers and labor cooperatives - profit from trading workers to client employers, typically for a commission or agency fee.  This is true in the sense that a middleman’s only business is to make profit from another’s labor. 

Data from the DOLE in August 2016 provides that there are more than 400 thousand workers dispatched by more or less 5,000 registered labor contractors to principal employers. Most if not all of the more than 400 thousand workers were neither unionized nor covered by collective bargaining agreements. The most recent survey revealed that more than 50% of registered small, medium and large companies employ contractual workers. 

The principal employers and their middlemen, in other words, are in the same business of extracting profit from contractual workers with the former enjoying reduced labor cost by paying workers the barest minimum per day while the latter get their respective commissions per head from that trading transaction.  If this is not an immoral, exploitative trading arrangement, then what is it?  

Furthermore, middlemen serve as walls or physical barriers to the workers’ full exercise of their constitutional rights, including the right to form unions so they can directly and collectively negotiate improvements in their working conditions with their principal employers. This is because direct responsibility as a consequence of direct hiring is effectively lost the moment employers are allowed to contract out or outsource jobs usually performed by regular workers. Hence, when third parties or middlemen demolished the essence of that bilateral wedlock, job losses and children of endo emerged in many forms such as the 5-5-5, kabo system, outsourcing, and several other schemes of job/service contracting. 

Ending endo is justice 

Labor groups have gone too far in negotiating with the government for a policy that would promote and protect their rights and welfare guaranteed under the constitution and international conventions. It’s about time that on this class issue, the Chief Executive exercises his political judgement in favour of the workers rather than preserve the status quo being enjoyed to the max by the capitalists. 
Failing to do so would openly expose the class bias of this administration. The recent survey has already shown that the level of satisfaction of class D & E for this administration is on a decline.

April 18, 2018

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Only a labor-drafted EO is acceptable to workers - PM


Reacting to Malakanyang spokesperson Harry Roque’s statement that labor groups could expect a pro-worker Executive Order on or before Labor Day, Partido Mangggagawa Chair avers, “it remains to be seen”. 

“Labor groups have gone through five drafts, and every draft was rejected by employers led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the DOLE did nothing. Waiting for a pro-worker EO therefore that is agreeable to the employers is like waiting for a crow to change its color white”, Magtubo explained. 

The 5th labor-drafted EO, Magtubo said, “contains government’s policy of direct hiring in employment relations but offers exemption to jobs or function that can be contracted out subject to consultation with the labor secretary.” 

“Only the President can issue a pro-worker EO if he wants to in order to realize his campaign promise. Now is the time that the President should show his political will by signing the labor-drafted EO”, he added. 

“Kaya ngang ipasara ng Pangulo ang Boracay para makahinga ang kalikasan. Bakit biglang nahihirapang maging decisive sa pangakong wakasan ang endo? Samantalang ang pro-worker EO ay reinstatement lang ng direct hiring na dati nang polisiya para maibasura ang nagkalat na porma ng kontraktwalisasyon sa bansa na sumisira sa buhay ng manggagawa,” said Magtubo.



PM calls on all labor groups to close rank, stand firm on the position that labor will only accept a labor-drafted EO, and prepare for a nationwide “all labor” mass action on Labor Day.

April 17, 2018