Tag Archives: Filipino workers

[Statement] Filipino workers stand with Gaza -BMP

Filipino workers stand with Gaza
BMP to PH gov’t: Cancel diplomatic, military ties with Israel

THE BUKLURAN ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), or Solidarity of Filipino Workers, a socialist labor centre composed of around 200 trade unions and organizations in the Philippines, joins the rest of the world in condemning the barbaric bombardment of Gaza by the State of Israel.

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The world’s most densely populated city is rained on by a storm of bombs. Hospitals, universities, and sanitation systems destroyed by missiles. Kids and their mothers are killed while sleeping. Around 10,000 are injured and nearly are 2,000 dead, including around 300 defenseless children, so far. As of the time of this writing, the death toll is steadily rising because there are no signs of any halt in Israel’s genocidal offensive.

What Israel has been doing to the Palestinians is a crime against humanity, an attack against civilization that must be stopped immediately. Israel must not only be compelled to end this latest bombardment and invasion. It must also be compelled to end its nearly decade-long blockade of Gaza, bring down its Apartheid Wall, stop and roll back the construction of all illegal settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, end its nearly half-century-long illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, and honor the right to return of all refugees it has illegally expelled.

We call upon all workers worldwide to stand with Gaza and to work together to pressure their own governments and the international community to stop this terrorist state. We express our solidarity with all the Palestinian workers already resisting this state terrorism and with all Israeli workers struggling against their own government.

We express our support to all Filipino and other migrant workers affected by Israel’s aggression. We support the call for boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) against Israel that Palestinian civil society has called for since 2005. In particular, we support the Palestinian people’s demand for an arms embargo against Israel and for sanctions against all countries that provide weapons and military aid to Israel, such as the United States and the European Union.

We demand that our own government stand for international law by joining the growing number of governments that have cut off their diplomatic ties with Israel and recalled their ambassadors from Tel Aviv. To back this stance, we demand the Philippine government to ban all future deployments of Filipino migrant workers to Israel, ensure the safe repatriation of all workers who wish to return to the country, and ensure their gainful employment upon their return. We also demand the Philippine government to immediately cancel all its military contracts with Israel and terminate all negotiations for Israel to supply the Philippines with weapons.

Only by isolating Israel—just as it isolated apartheid South Africa in the 1980s—can the international community send a strong message that violations of international law will not be tolerated; only then can we have a chance of preventing crimes against humanity and defending civilization.

Press Release
Contact person:
Gie Relova 0915-2862555
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino

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[Press Release] Teachers support workers’ call for wage increase, decent living -TDC

Teachers support workers’ call for wage increase, decent living

Public school teachers join the celebration and marches today in commemoration of the international labor day that primarily demand for increase in wages and protection for working class.

TDC

“Mayday is for all of us- working people to celebrate. This day recognizes our sacrifices and invaluable contribution, not just to the economy but to the entire society.” Benjo Basas, the group’s national chairperson said.
Basas said members of the TDC will be joining the workers under the Bukluran ng Manggagagawang Pilipino (BMP) and the labor alliance NAGKAISA who will march from Welcome Rotonda to Mendiola this morning.

“Teachers bear the agony of low salaries, high prices of commodities, unfair labor practices, heavy workload and contractualization, among others. These are also the everyday sufferings of the Filipino workers, thus our reason to take solidarity with the rest of the working class.” Basas explained.

Basas added that the Aquino administration, so far has not initiated a salary increase proposal for teachers and government workers and the last legislated increase in their salaries was the four-tranche increase in 2009 under the Arroyo administration which was fully implemented two years ago.

“P-Noy, for this day gave us assurance that there will be no increase in the wages of our brothers and sisters in the private sector, the same with us in the government.” Basas added.
TDC calls on Malacanang to provide increase in salaries and other means of benefits for teachers and government employees thru reduction in taxes, increase in productivity enhancement incentive and scrapping of divisive and deceptive performance-based bonus and granting of more benefits under the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

“The toils of the working class make the economy revolving and keep the world moving, a caring government should reward them with social recognition, not just jobs fair and free MRT rides. The Filipino workers deserve more.” Basas ended.

TDC vows to initiate protest actions in the remaining weeks of summer vacation for their demands before the classes resume in June. #

Benjo Basas, National Chairperson, 0920-5740241

NEWS RELEASE
May 1, 2014

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[statement] Labor group slams Baldoz, calls free MRT rides insulting and inciting workers to sedition -BMP

Labor group slams Baldoz, calls free MRT rides insulting and inciting workers to sedition

“SIMPLY revolting,” this was how a labor leader of a militant labor group reacted to an announcement released by the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday.

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On Wednesday, DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz made the announcement that all public and private sector employees shall be granted free MRT rides on Labor Day. This, only after Department of Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya ordered MRT 3 General Manager Al Vitangcol to ensure this year’s Labor Day success.

She also stated that the DOLE is still waiting for a response of the LRTA management for free LRT rides. The DOLE has also organized 150 job fairs nationwide which will run through April to June.

“For the Baldoz who chose honor the Filipino workers with “special privileges” such as free MRT rides on the only day of the year where the true economic engineers and producers of all social wealth is extolled for his back-breaking labor is clearly an insult,” said Gie Relova, Secretary-General of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino in Metro Manila and Rizal (BMP-NCRR).

The BMP leader likened the free MRT rides of Baldoz as against the workers’ demands to the Christians’ Seven Last Words when Christ, thirsty and crucified on the cross uttered, “I thirst” and a Roman soldiers gave him vinegar instead of water to ease his suffering.

The labor leader explained that the privileges are meager, not a new idea and very limited. “It did not even come from the DOLE but from the DOTC and was not a brand new idea, but was introduced under the term of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and most probably less than a hundred thousand workers based in Metro Manila only can avail of it, out of the 40 million-strong national labor force”.

“Not only is Baldoz insulting our collective work but is also unconsciously inciting the Filipino workers to sedition. She is feeding us with the most excellent justifications for us to rise up against this enslaving system, that she will regret sooner than she thinks, he boldly predicted.

Relova added that, “Free MRT rides for the worker should not even be considered privileges but mere pittance. It is nothing but crumbs from the bountiful feast of shrewd capitalists and the elitist government. This Aquino-led government has done nothing to uplift the lives of the real reasons behind his much-propagated 7.2% gross domestic product growth in 2013”.

There has been no word yet from the Presidential spokespersons if the Palace will announce non-wage benefits besides that already proclaimed by the DOLE Secretary.

Traditionally, President Aquino holds a breakfast dialogue with labor leaders on or a day before Labor Day, where he unveils non-wage benefits for the labor sector and administrative reforms. The President also reports on the development of the work of the agencies attached to the DOLE.

Since past, the BMP together with other labor groups have univocally and consistently demanded government to end contractual employment, provide living wages, the removal of all unnecessary requirements in establishing labor unions and the criminalization of labor violations.

Asked what plans the BMP is hatching for Labor Day, “Come May First, thousands of fuming workers in Metro Manila and other urban centers shall literally paint the town red, Relova responded.

Press Statement
17 April 2014
Contact person: Gie Relova 0915-2862555
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino- National Capital Region and Rizal
Secretary-General

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[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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