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