Women members of the party list Partido Manggagawa (PM) and PUP students under the group SPEAK will hold a candlelight protest tonight as a buildup for the Labor Day commemoration tomorrow. Some 100 women workers and students will gather around 7:00 p.m. tonight at Mendiola to call for regular jobs and a living wage. The demands echo the main issues of the planned Labor Day mobilization of thousands of workers tomorrow.
“We support all initiatives to augment the income of workers such as the recent petition for a P710 across-the-board wage hike or a legislated salary increase for all workers. But we believe the best solution is to abolish the present system of regional wage setting that is the fulcrum of the policy of cheap labor. It is high time to institute a wage commission with the mandate to set national wages at the level of cost of living,” explained Judy Ann Miranda, PM secretary-general.
The highlight of the protest tonight is the lighting of candles by women workers. The group plans to hold a noisy but peaceful mass action at Mendiola to drumbeat the main calls of the Labor Day rally. Among the chants and placards to be delivered by the protesters are End endo! End provincial wage! Stop TRAIN! Presyo ibaba! Sahod itaas! 105 days Expanded Maternity Leave, Ipatupad!
Tomorrow PM and allied organizations NFL, Agila, Umalab Ka, Pwersa and Kilos Maralita will assemble at the Petron gas station along the eastbound side of Blumentritt in Espana at 7 a.m. The group will march to Welcome Rotonda at 8 a.m. to link up with other groups for a short program. And then the Labor Day march led by the Nagkaisa labor coalition will start at 9 a.m. and end at Mendiola. Some 10,000 workers are expected to participate in the march to Mendiola.
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