Two weeks ahead of the May 1 Labor Day protests, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno and the Pinoy Media Center hosted a Media Forum entitled Labor Pains and Gains which presented the current conditions of Filipino workers under the Duterte administration.
According to KMU secretary general Jerome Adonis, the forum aims to various issues faced by Filipino workers and their demands for regular jobs, for a National Minimum Wage, free mass housing, free land distribution, social justice and just peace which will be the highlight of this year’s Labor Day protest.
“Workers are worse off after almost a year under the Duterte administration’s continued implementation of anti-worker neoliberal economic policies. On the first Labor Day under the Duterte, workers will take him to task for his failed promises and will push for our demands to end contractualization and the implementation of a National Minimum Wage,” Adonis said.
The labor leader cited that under Duterte, contractualization remains widespread that 24.4 million Filipinos or 64% of the labor force are hired under various contractual employment schemes. He added that wages remain below living standards as the highest wage level, P481 minimum wage in the National Capital Region, does not even come half of the P1,119 Family Living Wage.
“Duterte has failed to deliver his promise of ending contractualization. The much hyped DOLE Order 174 does not end but further legitimizes the proliferation of contractual employment schemes. There has also been no significant wage hike under Duterte. Wages remain below living standards especially in regions outside Metro Manila under the wage rationalization scheme,” said Adonis.
KMU meanwhile bared that this year’s Labor Day will be commemorated in a series of protests and activities by workers the private, public, informal, agricultural and migrant sectors which will culminate on May 1.
“This year’s Labor Day will be commemorated in a series of protests of various forms in the local, regional and national levels. We call on our fellow workers to join the Labor Day protests and assert our just demands for regular jobs, living wages, social justice and just peace.” Adonis said.