Youth workers, church people call on candidates for national posts to take on youth, labor issues
With low wages and increasing job insecurity that faces youth workers in the country, young workers and church people gathered today in a Young Workers Speak Out festival, Feb 27, at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Mesa, to call on the candidates for national posts to take on the issues of youth workers.
“We are organizing this event for the young workers voice out their concerns and build an agenda especially in the context of national elections,” according to one of the event organizers, Errol Alonzo, National Chairperson of Young Christian Workers-Philippines (PYCW).
Alonzo underlined that the Filipino young workers today is faced with great challenges with high youth unemployment rate and intensifying precarity of work. What has become regular nowadays are “irregular” jobs known in many names like 5-5-5, casual, racket, project based among others.
In 2013, government data on unemployment for ages between 15-24 years old is 16.6 percent more than twice the unemployment rate of 7.2 percent.
Alonzo also noted that the young workers are bound to bear the heaviest brunt of exploitative policies instituted by the Aquino government like the two-tier wage system that effectively lowers wage rates across sectors and regions in the country and the DO 18-A that further legitimizes contractual work.
The group also bucked the full implementation of K to 12, saying the Filipino youth is being trained to become semi-skilled sources of cheap labor both for the benefit of big companies here and abroad.
“With this activity we express our unity in challenging all these neoliberal policies that stunt the development of the youth and deprive them of their right to decent work and life with dignity. We believe that only with empowered and dignified young workers, can any government boast of meaningful growth and real development for the people” Alonzo added.
The participants will be crafting an electoral agenda for by the end of today’s workshop which will be made public and presented to national candidates.
Young workers Speak Out is organized by the Church People – Workers Solidarity (CWS), the Crispin B. Beltran Resource Center (CBBRC), Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR), Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER), the Young Christian Workers of the Philippines (PYCW), in partnership with the PUP-Institute for Labor and Industrial Relations (PUP-ILIR) ###
Jane Siwa, CTUHR Public Information and Education Coordinator, 0917-468-2829
Errol Alonzo, National President, Young Christian Workers (YCW), 0933-222-3634
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