December 15, 2016
Manggagawang Sosyalista (MASO)
Contact person: Leody de Guzman 09205200672
To demand abolition of contractualization:
Red Workers march from DOLE to Mendiola
HUNDREDS of workers from the socialist alliance Manggagawang Sosyalista (MASO), comprised of militant and anti-capitalist “Red unions” assembled today at the labor department offices in Intramuros, Manila before marching to Mendiola to press for the abolition of all forms of contractualization, not just the much-hated “endo or 5-5-5 employment scheme”.
Sec. Bello wants a Department of Labor and Employers
At the workers program in Intramuros, Lino Brin, MASO chairperson and president of the Pag-asa Steel union said, “The workers call on DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello to take the sides of the workers rather than adopt a flimsy seemingly neutral stance on the nefarious employment scheme that has led to a cheap and docile labor force”.
“The so-called win-win solution proposed by the trade department and echoed by Secretary Bello seeks to regularize workers at their contractors rather than to the principals who utilize contracting and subcontracting arrangements to replace regular employees with cheaper contractual workers,” he added.
Brin explained, “Bello should act, not just as the alter-ego of President Duterte who has promised to stop contractualization during the electoral campaign but as the representative of labor, which is recognized by the 1987 Constitution as the “primary social economic force” and should be granted „full protection by the State‟. He should leave the DTI Secretary to be the champion of investors. From the last time we check, the DOLE is not named “department of labor and employers”.
Abolition of Contractualization: A Promise Undelivered
At around noon, the workers proceeded to march to Mendiola via Quezon and Recto Avenues. At the march, MASO vice chair Ding Villasin of Socialista asserted, “President Duterte rode on the crest of the people‟s anger towards elitist democracy that was restored after EDSA 1986. Part of his electoral rhetoric was his harsh words against abusive employers who employ contractual workers in order to cheapen their labor costs. Yet, after several months in office, no stone was unturned. The abolition of contractualization remains an undelivered campaign promise.
She furthered, “If President Duterte was able to enact „freedom of information‟ for the Executive branch. We challenge him to abolish contractualization in the same branch, to which he has full control of, as Chief Executive. After all, the Philippine government remains as the country‟s number one employer of contractual workers”.
Nasaan ang Pagbabago?
At Mendiola, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) chair Leody de Guzman declared, “Before the year closes, we fear that both the DTI and DOLE will railroad the passage of the so-called win-win solution at both houses of the legislative.
“To inflict another wound to the already injured working class would transform the public sentiment, from that which passively seeks the change promised during the May elections to that of a labor-led independent movement of the people that would actively pursue social change and meaningful reforms, not from above but from below,” de Guzman concluded. #