Two days before International Labor Day, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno opened its national office in Project 3, Quezon City for a public viewing of their preparations for the May Day protests.
“On this year’s Labor Day protest, workers will condemn neoliberal economic policies that have worsened the situation of Filipino workers. Workers will push for their demands for the junking of contractualization and the implementation of a National Minimum Wage in the amount of P750, amidst their worsening hunger and poverty,” said Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary-general.
For this year’s Labor Day, workers are preparing a giant mural depicting the “three ills” of Philippine society and an effigy depicting Pres. Noynoy Aquino as a brutal butcher and a puppet of US imperialism.
“The mural depicts imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism, the main cause of hunger and poverty in our country. The butcher effigy on the other hand symbolizes Aquino’s role in killing workers and farmers as shown in the shooting and killing of farmers in Kidapawan City last April 1, the death of workers in the Kentex factory fire, human-rights violations caused by the government’s counter-insurgency Oplan Bayanihan, among others,” Adonis said.
KMU also condemned Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz for making excuses for contractualization in her media interviews four days after presidentiables in their last televised debate promised to end contractualization.
The labor group claimed that Baldoz justifies contractualization by pointing to laws that confer legality to the employment scheme and makes it appear that the problem only lies with so-called fly-by-night contractors which are dummies of big capitalists, and that the problem is being remedied by the department order currently serving as guidelines for job contracting.
“The problem lies with the Labor Code, which was affirmed by the Herrera Law, banning Labor-Only Contracting but allowing Job Contracting. Existing laws have allowed contractualization to spread, whether in the ‘legitimate’ or in the ‘illegitimate’ forms,” Adonis stated.
The KMU leader also said that the starting point for any meaningful discussion of contractualization should be that it is a wholescale attack on workers’ rights to a living wage, job security and free exercise of trade-union rights, and that majority of workers are now contractuals.
KMU expects a more than 50,000 attendance on the May day protest in Metro Manila and more than 100,000 on different regions across the country.
Reference: Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary-general, 0999-4499794