[Statement] WeDpro extends its solidarity to the workers all over the nation and the world on the occasion of International Labor Day

Statement on the Commemoration of International Labor Day
May 1, 2012

WeDpro extends its solidarity to the workers all over the nation and the world on the occasion of International Labor Day also known as May Day, the day when we focus on the struggles of the working class.

Despite the promises of the PNoy administration of “daang matuwid”, millions of Filipino families who are the great majority in the Philippines, still stumble much too often, burdened hard by the road of poverty and bulldozed by injustice and exploitation. The continuing struggle for just wages, union rights and pro-workers’ policies, to name a few, is an ugly and painful dot in the political and economic landscape of the country on the one hand, and an unending road of the people’s struggles for their rights on the other hand.

Indeed, more and more women continue to be part of the productive force, as do children and youth. However, abuses including sexual exploitation continue to be part of the reality that they have to bear often in silence. Children work in “jobs” that are dangerous and high risk without protection from the laws – and in fact, in clear violation of the laws.

Unemployed and underemployed youth are becoming desperate for jobs that are decent and life-giving. No wonder why “sex work” or prostitution has become a normalized source of income for many, women and men alike, and even for children who are sold and pushed by their own parents into the ever-growing “entertainment” industry.

Call centers are a pipe dream for many of our youth, despite the increasing reports of the health impact on call center agents – alcohol and drugs abuse, high blood and heart-related problems, sexual and reproductive health issues, general well being concerns including psychological or mental health.

Women continue to bear the greater burden of the double-day, multiple tasks as home “managers” and at the same time part of the informal sector that afford very little economic protection. Without doubt, there is increasing number of women professionals and indeed some have excelled in their chosen professions, but the majority of women continue to suffer the unrelenting yet often subtle impacts of capitalism and patriarchy.

The so-called economic gains that the PNoy administration has been presenting as part of its achievements are hardly felt on the ground as pendulum-like gas prices, rising costs of food and essential commodities, unaffordable housing and education, among others, are beginning to feel like luxury items instead of being part of our basic needs for survival and human security.

Without the people-oriented transparent and accountable political will of the PNoy administration to address poverty and social justice issues, the “daang matuwid” will continue to be a road of thorns and bumps and bombs as the unrelenting struggles continue to wage protests, strikes, rebellions and other forms of resistances to insist on our human rights.

Workers’ rights are after all, an integral part of the internationally accepted standards of human rights. More than ever, we take note of the fact that workers’ rights rightly equates to women’s liberation from the yokes of capitalism-militarist ideology and patriarchy.

Aida F. Santos
Chairperson, WeDpro Board of Directors
01 May 2012
Quezon City, Philippines
Email: aida.santos@wedprophils.org

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