Tag Archives: Federation of Free Workers

[Statement] Pork Barrel Regime a bane to Filipino workers -NAGKAISA

Pork Barrel Regime a bane to Filipino workers

NAGKAISA! Labor coalition marched from España blvd to Mendiola bridge- File Photo by PhilRights

NAGKAISA! Labor coalition marched from España blvd to Mendiola bridge- File Photo by PhilRights

Official numbers and figures tell no lies—pork barrel, which include the Palace’s Special Purpose Fund (SPF) and Congress’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)–has reached all-time highs under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III. SPF, which are funds under the discretion of Mr. Aquino, is set to be pegged at more than P400 billion in 2014 and out of that, PDAF will be pegged at P25 billion.

The public coffer is overflowing with money, yet this huge amount of money is spent upon the discretion of whoever sits in Malacanang, with no transparency and direct engagement with the people in determining government projects. Such ill-transparency and fiscal dictatorship is ridiculously upheld through Mr. Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), a rip off from former dictator Marcos’ decree (PD 1177 of 1977) which seeks to fast track government spending, but again, under the discretion of one person that is the President, making him the chef of quick fry pork.

This has been the system in past administrations, and this, in the eye of Filipino workers, is the legacy of Mr. Aquino—the leader of the current Pork Barrel Regime fueled by the undemocratic spending of our hard-earned money.

With Mr. Aquino defending and upholding the pork barrel system in his nationally televised public address, and with him hitting anti-pork groups, we in Nagkaisa—the biggest labor coalition in the Philippines—join in the people’s call of scrapping ALL forms of pork barrel which, as government records show, is a major source of corruption in government.

We also the demand the filing of criminal cases against all government officials who have benefited, directly or indirectly, from the pork barrel. Justice and law enforcement must know no influence or position, and it must be dispensed without delay. Officials who determine the budget under the current system, such as Budget secretary Florencio Abad, Senate President Franklin Drilon, and House Speaker Sonny Belmonte must also be held accountable for crafting pork-filled budgets.

Instead of a Pork Barrel Regime, we want a government built upon genuine democracy, wherein working Filipinos who automatically pay their taxes are engaged in budgeting and policy making. Such participative budgeting system, in our view, is a major step toward combating corruption.

Finally, we in Nagkaisa demand the government to allocate our money, in the most transparent and democratic way, to social services and real jobs creation especially since the Filipino worker is getting poorer due to contractual labor and small wage.

Scrap all pork! Filipino workers, unite for a democratic, transparent, and accountable government! ###

NAGKAISA is the broadest coalition of labor groups in the Philippines to date composed of labor centers, federations and national unions, which include the Alliance of Filipino Workers (AFW), affiliates of the Associated Labor UnionsTrade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), members of SENTRO, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Confederation of Independent Unions in the Public Sector (CIU), Federation of Free Workers (FFW), Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (MAKABAYAN), National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU), National Mines and Allied Workers’ Union (NAMAWU), National Confederation of Labor (NCL), Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA), Philippine Government Employees Association (PGEA), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK), Philippine Transport and General Workers Organization (PTGWO), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority-Association of Concerned Employees (TESDA-ACE).

NAGKAISA Statement
November 7, 2013

Contact Persons:
Leody De Guzman (BMP) – 09205200672
Joshua Mata (APL) – 09177942431

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[Statement] Martsa para sa Alternatibong Ekonomiya -FDC

Martsa para sa Alternatibong Ekonomiya

Sa Hulyo 23, 2012, sa ikatlong SONA ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino III, magmamartsa kami patungong Batasan. Dala namin ang panawagan para sa pagkakaroon ng alternatibong ekonomiya, kapalit ng pahirap na sistema ng neoliberalismo.

Ang alternatibong ekonomiya, para sa amin, ay ekonomiyang ang pag-unlad ay pakikinabangan ng lahat. Hindi gaya ng neoliberalismo ngayon na sadlak sa kahirapan ang marami sa kabila ng sinasabing “growth.”

Kaya anumang palamuti ang gawin ni P-Noy sa kanyang platapormang “inclusive growth,” hindi ito maramdaman ng mga Pinoy dahil hindi ang masa kundi may-ari ng mga korporasyon ang nakikinabang dito. Halimbawa, mula 2003 hanggang 2009 ay umunlad ang ekonomiya ng average na 4.8%. Pero ang bilang ng mahihirap ay nadagdagan pa, mula 19.8 milyon hanggang 23.1 milyon. Ayon sa pag-aaral, kalakhan ng paglago ng GDP na ito ay napunta sa mga korporasyon na umabot ng P3 trilyon kumpara sa PhP2.4 trilyon na napunta sa pamilyang Pilipino.

Sa katunayan, ang pinagsamang kita ng Top 40 Filipino billionaires ay umaabot ng US$47 bilyon o katumabas ng P2 trilyon. Halos kapareho na ito ng proposed National budget para sa 2013. Samantalang ang kita ng isang pamilya nasa bottom 30% ng ating populasyon ay umaabot lang sa P5,200 kada buwan, o P173 kada araw. Ni hindi ito kasya para makakain ng sapat ang isang pamilya.

Ang hindi pantay na hatian o distribusyon ng yaman ang totoong problema kung bakit nananatili ang kahirapan kahit na sagana ang istatistika ng “kaunlaran.” Ang kasalukuyang 6% na GDP, kung gayon, ay walang saysay kung hindi rin papatak o paunti-unti lang darating sa kamay ng masa. At ang sistema ng neoliberalismo – na kinakatawan ng mga patakarang pribatisasyon, deregulasyon at liberalisasyon, ang nagtitiyak na anumang ang pag-unlad ng lipunan ay nasa kontrol ng pribadong sektor.

Pasan ng masang Pilipino ang bigat ng mataas na presyo ng mga bilihin at serbisyo dahil sa pribatisasyon at deregulasyon. Dama ng lahat ang kawalan ng trabaho dahil ang estratehiya ng pamahalaan ay “private-led growth” – sa pribadong sektor magmumula ang trabaho, foreign investors ang magdadala ng trabaho. Makikipartner na lang ang gubyerno sa kanilang intensyon sa pamamagitan ng PPP o public-private partnership ni P-Noy. Sa katunayan, nagpautang pa tayo sa International Monetary Fund (IMF) para sagipin ang mga bangko ng Europa sa halip na gamitin ang pondo sa sariling programa.

Dahil sa pribatisasyon, deregulasyon at liberalisasyon, walang nabuong programa sa industriyalisasyon ang mga nagdaan at kasalukuyang administrasyon. Resulta: Kawalang trabaho. Kalahati ng labor force ay nabubuhay sa sariling sikap o para-paraan. Maging agrikultura ay ibinukas sa liberalisasyon. Ang land development sa mga syudad ay mas inilalaan sa pribadong ispekulasyon sa halip na gamitin sa socialized housing. Resulta: Kagutuman at kawalang tirahan sa milyon-milyong Pilipino.

Pero dahil sa tingin ng mga dayuhan at mga local partner nila dito ay hindi pa sapat ang liberalisasyon ng bansa, muli na naman nilang itinutulak ang cha-cha o Charter change ngayon. Muli tayong lulutuin sa sariling mantika na ginamit na sa atin mula pa noon.

Magsisimula at matatapos ni P-Noy ang kanyang SONA sa Lunes na walang aaminin at itutuwid sa mga pagkakamali ng neoliberal na sistemang ipinatutupad niya hanggang ngayon. Ipagmamalaki na naman niya ang “nakakagulat” na pag-unlad ng ekonomiya, ang tagumpay ng kanyang kampanya laban kay Gloria at Corona, at mangangakong palalawakin pa ang kanyang panawid-gutom na programa sa CCT.

Kung ito din lang ang paulit-ulit nating maririnig kada taon, tapos na ang anim na taon ni P-Noy ay wala tayong makikitang bagong landas ng pagsulong.

Kaya tuloy ang protesta. Ang alternatibong ekonomiya ay makakamit sa nagpapatuloy na paglaban sa neoliberalismo at sa mga pahirap na patakaran nito na pribatisasyon, deregulasyon, liberalisasyon, murang pasahod at kontraktwalisasyon. -30-

* Unity Statement of various groups that will hold a 7,000-strong protest, dubbed “Martsa para sa Alternatibong Ekonomiya,” on Monday, 23 July 2012, the day Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III will deliver his 3rd State of the Nation Address. Joining this protest are members of Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), Nagkaisa (a coalition of 45 national labor organizations including Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Federation of Free Workers, Alliance of Progressive Labor, Partido ng Manggagawa, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, etc.), Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP), Stop the War Coalition, Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Sanlakas, Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD), Alab Katipunan (AK), Katarungan, Pandayan, BISIG, Youth Against Debt (YAD), and other people’s and non-government organizations.

http://www.fdc.ph/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=603%3Amartsa-para-sa-alternatibong-ekonomiya&catid=38%3Aadvocacies&Itemid=88

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[From the web] Sentro, Nagkaisa herald new era of ‘labor unity’; show strength in May 1 rallies –

Sentro, Nagkaisa herald new era of ‘labor unity’; show strength in May 1 rallies
by mabini, http://www.apl.org.ph/
May 1, 2012

THOUSANDS of trade unionists and activists poured into the streets of Manila and other key cities to celebrate May Day amid renewed hopes that the two latest efforts at labor unity will provide strong impetus to their uphill battle for labor and trade union rights.

At least 5,000 affiliates of the Sentro ng mga Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro), a newly organized labor center, joined a more massive march and rally in Manila of the recently launched Nagkaisa! labor coalition.

From five converging places along España Blvd., about 20,000 Nagkaisa! members linked up and marched towards Mendiola, near the Malacañang Palace, for an unprecedented unity calling for an end to rampant contractualization, enactment of the Security of Tenure bill in the Congress, across-the-board wage hike, among others.

Similar Sentro and Nagkaisa! mobilizations were simultaneously held in main cities or provinces nationwide, including Lipa, Pampanga, Baguio, Legaspi, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, and Cotobato.

“Labor unity, however elusive is not totally impossible; but it must be actively pursued and nurtured because a fragmented and weak labor movement can never effectively defend and advance the interests of the workers and the masses, especially at this time of relentless global attacks from the neoliberal clique,” Frank Mero, SENTRO spokesperson said.
“The ‘Labor Unity March’ is a signal that the majority of the mainstream trade unions and other workers’ organizations are ready to take on the policies issues that have been ignored by governments for a long time,” Mero said.

Both SENTRO and NAGKAISA are calling on the Aquino government to: address the worsening precarious work in the country and certify as urgent the passage of security of tenure bill for the private sector (HB 4853) and for the public sector (SB 2875) that is now pending in Congress; support the workers’ demand for across the board wage increases for both the public and private sectors; address the failures of market-oriented policies in public utilities by scraping the EPIRA law and the Oil Deregulation law; prevent the violent demolitions of informal settlers by issuing an Executive Order that would stop the demolition of informal settlers and fast track the development of decent and adequate housing for the poor; provide solid guarantees for workers’ right to self-organization; and, protect and generate secure and decent jobs for all.

Launched only on April 12, Sentro is a national labor center composed of unions and federations in different industries and their subsectors – metal, including automotive, hotel and hospitality, postal, banking, broadcast media, food and beverages, seafaring – as well as the public sector and sectoral groupings of informal sector and urban poor, women, and youth.

Sentro is a member of the broad labor coalition aptly named Nagkaisa! (or united) that was also established last month and comprised by about 40 major trade unions and federations in the country.

Described as an issue-based, multiform and multi-ideological labor alliance, Nagkaisa! is nonetheless a breakthrough in the Philippine labor front as the last time a comparable coalition existed was in 1989 – the Labor Alliance for Wage Increase of P35 (Lawin 35).

The Sentro affiliates are the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), APL-Youth, Federation of Coca-Cola Unions (FCCU), Kapisanan ng Maralitang Obrero (KAMAO), League of Independent Bank Organizations (LIBO), MARINO seafarers’ group, National Alliance of Broadcast Unions (NABU), National Confederation of Transportworkers’ Unions (NCTU), National Union of Workers in Hotel, Restaurant and Allied Industries (NUWHRAIN), Philippine Independent Public Sector Employees Association (PIPSEA), Philippine Metalworkers’ Alliance (PMA), Pinag-isang Tinig at Lakas ng Anakpawis (PIGLAS), Postal Employees Union of the Philippines (PEUP), and Workers’ Solidarity Network (WSN).

On the other hand, the roster of the Nagkaisa! include the Alliance of Filipino Workers (AFW), affiliates of the Associated Labor UnionsTrade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), members of SENTRO, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Confederation of Independent Unions in the Public Sector (CIU), Federation of Free Workers (FFW), Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (MAKABAYAN), National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU), National Mines and Allied Workers’ Union (NAMAWU), National Confederation of Labor (NCL), Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA), Philippine Government Employees Association (PGEA), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK), Philippine Transport and General Workers Organization (PTGWO), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority-Association of Concerned Employees (TESDA-ACE).

http://www.apl.org.ph/

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[Press Release] Urban poor group condemns violent Paranaque demolition, use of deadly force -Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino

Urban poor group condemns violent Paranaque demolition, use of deadly force

The urban poor group Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino (AMP) and the labor party Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) condemned the violent demolition at the Silverio Compound in Paranaque and assailed the use of deadly force by the police. “Heads must roll for the death of one resident from police gunfire and the brutality accompanying the arrest of scores protesters,” said Ramil Cangayao, spokesperson of the AMP. AMP is an alliance of urban poor associations in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon.

Meanwhile Renato Magtubo, PM national chair, asserted that “Violent evictions must be prohibited. Land disputes must be resolved through negotiations without the threat of violence, deceit or bribery. Residents must be relocated to better living conditions to ensure that negotiations end peacefully in agreement.”

Cangayao expressed the fear that violence may erupt once more in Paranaque since another demolition has been scheduled on Thursday at the Tucuma community in Barangay Merville. Ramil Asturias, president of the Tucuma Federation, declared that they will defend their community from any attempt at demolition.

The Tucuma residents are planning a rally at the Paranaque city hall tomorrow to appeal for a stop to the scheduled demolition. Tucuma Federation is an affiliate of the AMP.

Magtubo explained that one of the demands of the coming Labor Day rally is a moratorium on demolitions. Some 20,000 workers and urban poor under the umbrella of the newly-formed Nagkaisa will march along Espana to Mendiola to highlight the issues of job contractualization, low wages, high prices of oil and power and violent demolitions, among others. Some 40 labor organizations established the Nagkaisa, among them the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Federation of Free Workers, Alliance of Progressive Labor and PM.

Press Release
April 24, 2012
Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino

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[Press Release] PALEA renews protest as outsourcing deadline nears

PALEA renews protest as outsourcing deadline nears

The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) held a prayer protest this morning at the Terminal 2 chapel and then a noise barrage in the afternoon at the corner of MIA Road and Sucat Road. The protest actions are part of a renewed campaign against the outsourcing plan as the September 9 deadline of Philippine Airlines (PAL) for workers to avail of separation package nears.

“The energetic participation by members in today’s protest activities shows that PAL management is failing in its attempt to prematurely implement the outsourcing plan by cajoling and coercing PALEA members into accepting the separation package. The workers united will never be defeated,” declared Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and Partido ng Manggagawa vice chair.

Tomorrow labor and church groups will hold a press conference in support of PALEA. Then on Saturday PALEA will hold a “family day” where spouses and children of PAL employees can express and voice their sentiments on the planned layoff and outsourcing. Meanwhile next week, the Bishop Broderick Pabillo of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA) is organizing a multisectoral support network for PALEA.

The CBCP-NASSA averred that “We express grave disappointment over the government’s manifest partiality towards PAL, whose recent financial report belies claims of ‘massive losses.’” Meanwhile Atty. Sonny Matula, president of the Federation of Free Workers also released a statement that asserted “If profitable enterprises, such as PAL, are allowed to wantonly retrench its workers, what would prevent enterprises who are earning enough to layoff their workers in the name of contractualization?”

According to PAL’s audited financial statement, the flag carrier earned a net profit of USD 72.5 million last fiscal year apart from paying its loans obligation of USD 46.5 million in 2010. “Apparently a PhP 5 billion income is not enough for Lucio Tan that he has to depress the wages and working conditions of PAL workers by turning them into contractual workers at service providers,” Rivera insisted.

PALEA slammed the terms and conditions of employment being offered at service providers to laidoff PAL employees. “The employment contracts that are being sent together with the termination notices are revealing. It exposes the dagdag-bawas offer to outsourced workers—less wages and benefits but more working hours,” stated Rivera.

Moreover, from regular employees of PAL, the outsourced workers will become contractual workers at the service providers. “PAL employees who have been working for 10, 20 or 30 years will be downgraded to probationary status for six months and after which he or she can simply be terminated after training other younger workers at the service providers,” Rivera claimed.

He said that most PAL employees to be terminated are being offered a monthly wage of just PhP 1111.50 for working eight hours a day for six days a week. In comparison he declared that as PAL workers they work 7 ½ a day for five days a week as stipulated in the collective bargaining agreement. “Outsourced employees will be working longer hours but be receiving smaller pay. Lowly PAL workers will sacrifice but Lucio Tan, already the second richest Filipino, will benefit,” Rivera said.

PALEA
Contact Gerry Rivera @ 09157755073

[Press Release] PALEA and allies hold motorcade vs. contractualization, Vow to escalate campaign against planned layoffs at PAL

Describing the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) as the “last line of defense against contractualization,” a coalition of labor and church organizations are leading today’s motorcade for regular jobs. The groups participating include PALEA, Partido ng Manggagaawa (PM), National Union of Building and Construction Workers, Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan, Federation of Free Workers, Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan, PM-Kabataan, Church-Labor Conference, Urban Missionaries, Archdiocesan Ministry for Labor Concerns and the National Secretariat for Social Action of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

“At the end of the motorcade, we will be holding a program at the monument of Ninoy Aquino, who’s death anniversary was commemorated yesterday. Ninoy said that the Filipino was worth dying for but unfortunately his son PNoy believes that Filipino workers are worth sacrificing,” declared Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and PM vice chair.

The protest motorcade will start by 4:00 p.m. at the office of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority in Roxas Boulevard cor. Buendia and then proceed to Ayala Ave. in Makati. Rivera revealed that more mass actions are slated this week.

Explaining the labor groups’ support for PALEA, Renato Magtubo, PM chair said that “For PALEA this is not just a fight for their future as regular PAL employees. It is also a struggle for the welfare of all Filipino workers. There is no dignity, there is no future in a contractual job. Ang kontraktwalisasyon ay isa ring anyo ng wang-wang. It is capitalist abuse of workers for more profit.”

Rivera argued that “After making its workers sacrifice their collective bargaining rights for more than a decade, PAL now wants to rewards us with mass termination and refusal to bargain.” The PAL-PALEA collective bargaining agreement (CBA) has been suspended for 13 years since 1998. As a consequence, the last wage hike enjoyed by PAL employees was in 2008.

In response to Malacanang’s call for PALEA to refrain from a strike, Magtubo asserted that the Palace should instead exert moral suasion on PAL to begin negotiations for a CBA. “If he wants to prevent a paralyzing strike, PNoy should mediate between PAL and PALEA for an agreement that any outsourcing plan should be subject to collective bargaining negotiations rather than unilaterally imposed on employees. This is the win-win solution to this protracted labor row,” Magtubo insisted. ###

Press Release
August 22, 2011
PALEA
Contact Gerry Rivera @ 09157755073

[Press Release] Labor groups reiterate support for PALEA, PM calls for collective bargaining as win-win solution – Partido ng Manggagawa

A rainbow coalition of labor groups reiterated their support for the embattled Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) in its fight against mass layoffs at Philippine Airlines (PAL). “PALEA is the last line of defense against contractualization and thus labor groups are mobilizing in this battle for regular jobs. Ang laban ng PALEA ay laban ng lahat. Ang laban ng lahat ay kontra kontraktwalisasyon,” stated Renato Magtubo, Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) chairperson.

In response to Malacanang’s call for PALEA to refrain from a strike, Magtubo asserted that the Palace should instead exert moral suasion on PAL to begin negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The PAL-PALEA CBA has been suspended for 13 years since 1998. “If he wants to prevent a paralyzing strike, PNoy should mediate between PAL and PALEA for an agreement that any outsourcing plan should be subject to collective bargaining negotiations rather than unilaterally imposed on employees. This is the win-win solution to this protracted labor row,” Magtubo argued.

Meanwhile Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and PM vice chair, dismissed PAL’s spokesperson Cielo Villaluna’s threat of administrative sanctions for employees joining protest actions. “PALEA members have been protesting since last Thursday by wearing black ribbons while at work. We are fighting not just for the regular jobs of PAL employees but for a decent future for all Filipino workers. There is no dignity and future in a contractual job that pays starvation wages, lacks sufficient benefits, is without security of tenure and is unprotected by a union,” he explained.

An initial contingent of labor and church organizations are joining tomorrow’s motorcade against contractualization. Aside from PALEA and PM, the National Union of Building and Construction Workers, Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan, Federation of Free Workers, Church-Labor Conference, Urban Missionaries, Archdiocesan Ministry for Labor Concerns and the National Secretariat for Social Action of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines are participating.

Earlier this week, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo scored the Office of the President for its adverse ruling on PALEA while airline unions in the Asia Pacific and the global union International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) declared solidarity with PALEA. The aviation workers announced they will not act as cabs in case of a strike at PAL. The flag carrier has said that other airlines have committed to service PAL’s routes should it be hit by a work stoppage.

The protest motorcade will start by 4:00 p.m. at the office of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority in Roxas Boulevard cor. Buendia and then proceed to Ayala Ave. in Makati. The groups plan to hold a program at the Ninoy Aquino monument at the corner of Ayala Ave. and Paseo de Roxas. Rivera revealed that more mass actions are slated in the coming week.

Press Release
August 22, 2011
Partido ng Manggagawa