Tag Archives: Labor

[Press Release] Love without Justice and Integrity, Worthless, says labor group -BMP

Reaction to Aquino’s Address at the INC event:
Love without Justice and Integrity, Worthless, says labor group

A LABOR group assailed President Noynoy Aquino for his address at the inauguration of the Iglesia ni Cristo’s (INC) Philippine Arena in Bulacan where he took the opportunity to slam critics for being “un-Christian” and spreading dissent.

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“Aquino’s speech was overflowing with hypocrisy and like any ordinary trapo (traditional opposition) he used the event to bolster his lagging popularity by citing religious passages when he himself is governing like a Pontius Pilate,” said Gie Relova of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP).

The beleaguered chief executive was reported to have said, “Let me remind them, if we are fellow Christians it is our duty to love each other in the name of God instead of sowing doubt and discord”, in an effort to defend himself after a series of setbacks since the Supreme Court declared his administration’s Disbursement Acceleration Program unconstitutional.

Later, survey groups Pulse Asia and the Social Weather Station reported that Aquino suffered the biggest drop in his popularity rating since assuming the presidency in 2010.

Aquino’s political grip worsened further when public opinion on his televised address resisting the SC decision went against him. In a maneuver to drum up support, he called on his supporters to wear yellow ribbons but no spontaneous support came and back-tracked on the plea for support.

“His latest effort to regain lost political footing will be another flop. Love without justice and integrity is worthless,” the labor leader added.

“Love cannot come from thin air. Aquino’s “good governance” for the past four years has not translated to a bountiful and democratically mature society but only its exact opposite,” Relova asserted.

Relova cited double-digit unemployment rates, massive dislocation of informal settlers, price hikes on basic commodities, legalization of contractualization, demise of constitutionally-guaranteed labor rights, increase in self-rated poverty, collapse of the agrarian reform program, privatization of hospitals for indigent patients, supremacy of private corporations in essential services and the system-wide corrupt practices in all branches of government as the major issues that have paved way for the criticisms his administration is reaping.

The BMP believes that Aquino is only to blame for the country’s political crisis. “Aquino wasted his political capital by ramming through neo-liberal policies that were clearly anti-worker, anti-poor and benefited only an elite few of cronies and relatives.

The militant socialist labor group vowed to flood the streets with red shirt-wearing workers in Aquino’s 5th State of the Nation Address to push for his ouster from office and the establishment of a government genuinely of and for people.

Press Release
21 July 2014

Contact person:
Gie Relova- 0915 286 2555
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino

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[Press Release] Labor tells Lacierda to “shut up” on DAP without audit and investigation -BMP

Labor tells Lacierda to “shut up” on DAP without audit and investigation

A LABOR group assailed Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda for clearing Budget Secretary Butch Abad on any wrongdoing in the implementation of his brainchild, the Disbursement Acceleration Program or the DAP, this after Lacierda claimed that the Executive branch’s allotment of 91% of the entire DAP was accounted.

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The Supreme Court en banc has decided that the DAP to be partly unconstitutional last week.

“It seems that Lacierda is on automatic deception mode. Whenever there are inquiries to the disbursement of public funds by the Executive branch, he is quick to denying any violations whatsoever without any proof or investigation, said Gie Relova of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP).

The Commission on Audit recently found disclosed that there are irregularities in the usage of the 1.1 billion peso DAP budget of the TESDA in 2011. The TESDA is headed by Liberal Party member Joel Villanueva.

He added that, “It is not difficult to conclude that Lacierda may have been given the blanket authority by the President himself to vouch for Abad and other cabinet members. Lacierda’s assurance is all gibberish and a clear waste of taxpayers’ money”.

Abad issued National Budget Circular No. 541 and other issuances, authorizing the use of unused public funds.

The group noted that without any impartial investigation by state agencies or any independent body, the Palace spokespersons have been covering for Abad and President Noynoy Aquino ever since the DAP was first disclosed in a privilege speech of Senator Jinggoy Estrada in September last year.

“May I remind Mr. Lacierda that he is a Presidential spokesperson and he must be prudent enough before releasing irresponsible and leading statements to the public without a formal impartial investigation,” the labor leader warned.

The group also said that with the way the Palace has been mishandling the issue, people have grown wary of the prospects in achieving justice for the wholesale and systematic abuse of power by Executive officials led by Aquino and Abad.

The BMP likewise claimed that besides the gross abuse of the authority, state agencies must also divulge the personalities and companies involved in the DAP-funded “fast-moving projects”.

“In the world of auditing, the devil is in the details. The nation wants to know who Aquino’s cronies are,” Relova said.

He insisted that the public must be informed where the funds were spent and who were awarded and those who benefitted from such projects because, “clearly no amount of Lacierda’s words will be enough to assure the back-breaking work of the tax-paying public.

Contact person:
Gie Relova- 0915-2862555
Secretary-General Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino-NCRR

Press Release
10 July 2014

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[Press Release] Labor groups demand clamp down on manpower coops -NAGKAISA

Labor groups demand clamp down on manpower coops

Photo by Nagkaisa

Photo by Nagkaisa

After mounting a successful resistance against the outsourcing program at Philippine Airlines (PAL), labor groups under the Nagkaisa coalition now turn their ire against the operations of manpower cooperatives that purposely serve outsourcing needs of many companies.

NAGKAISA

Few days before the celebration of Labor Day, Nagkaisa called on the government to clamp down on manpower cooperatives particularly those that were actively involved in labor-only-contracting and non-compliance to labor standards.

In a protest rally held Friday at the offices of the Asiapro Cooperative in Pasig City, Nagkaisa members lambasted the manpower agency for hiding under the cloak of cooperativism to satisfy corporations’ callous demand for contractual labor. They also accused Asiapro of active involvement in anti-union activities.

Joining the action were members of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), SENTRO, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), and the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA).

Asiapro prides itself to be the first and biggest manpower cooperative in the country, with 34,000 of its members, deployed to several dozen companies nationwide.

“Cooperativism is akin to unionism hence we cannot, in principle, go against the concept of cooperativism. However, the relationship is becoming adversarial when a cooperative transforms itself into a conscious instrument for undermining labor rights,” said Wilson Fortaleza, Partido ng Manggagawa spokesperson and Nagkaisa convenor.

The case of Asiapro, he said, reveals the kind of anti-labor practices many manpower cooperatives are involved — principally as suppliers of contractual workers and consequently as in-house violator of labor rights of its member/employees such as non-payment of wages and other mandatory benefits such as SSS.

Asiapro usually invokes its cooperative nature to evade compliance to labor laws.  Its executives made this admission during the public hearings conducted by the Provincial Board of Bukidnon in 2010 and in its many pleadings before the courts.  Asiapro is Bukidnon’s biggest contractual labor supplier, with 5,000 of its workers deployed in the province’s banana and pineapple plantations.

The Supreme Court, however, ruled in G.R. No. 172101, the existence of employer-employee relationship between Asiapro and its associate members therefore it must comply with core labor standards and other labor-related laws.

But Asiapro seems undeterred by this ruling, perhaps because of a strong backing from former labor secretary Benny Laguesma.   Last March, Asiapro was able to stop, through a TRO, a union certification election in Galeo Equipment and Mining Company, a contractor that hauls mine waste from the open pit mining site at the Carmen Copper mine in Toledo City.

A total of 285 Galeo workers had already voted by the time balloting was stopped. Another 275 Galeo workers were unable to cast ballots and were disenfranchised due to the TRO.

The election dispute arose from an attempt by the Asiapro manpower cooperative to prevent the unionization efforts at Galeo.  Asiapro is claiming that the Galeo workers are their members and thus exempt from unionization. Galeo workers did not even know that they were members of Asiapro.

Nagkaisa had been pushing for the passage of the security of tenure bill in Congress to deter the plague of contractualization in the country.  President Aquino, however, did not certify the bill as urgent.

NAGKAISA
PRESS RELEASE
25 April 2014
Reference:
Wilson Fortaleza
Partido ng Manggagawa
09178233956; 09225261138

 

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[Press Release] Policymakers to blame why poor people turn to saints for jobs, healthcare -PM

Policymakers to blame why poor people turn to saints for jobs, healthcare

Policymakers are to blame why throngs of poor and sick people opt to seek deliverance from the Black Nazarene at Luneta and Quiapo Church rather than flock to hospitals for regular medical treatment, the labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) said in a statement.

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The group said that besides the yearly observance of this centuries-old tradition, the devotees’ main concerns for keeping the faith revolve around their plea to relieve them from serious illness and lift them out of poverty.

“Policymakers should look at this phenomenon in a more political rather than in purely religious sense. It’s failure of polices and governance. When poor people are afraid of hospitals because of high cost, their traditional option is to look for divine and non-discriminating sponsors in the likes of the Black Nazarene and other saints,” said PM.

The group pointed out that while faith and deliverance is a personal devotion to the Creator, quality healthcare, employment and other aspects of good life are the State’s social and moral obligation to its people.

Along this line PM chided lawmakers for making noise about their constituents having problems in availing the ‘pork’ they have realigned to different agencies.

Earlier Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga complained against the lack of guidelines from government agencies on how former pork beneficiaries can have access to the services they previously enjoy.

“The problem is that lawmakers merely realigned their PDAF to line agencies without putting in place a universal system in delivering social services, creating in effect administrative gridlocks because politicized and discretionary parts of the budget remain,” said PM.

The group had pushed for the creation of a universal social protection fund in place of the pork barrel system during the height of the anti-pork barrel campaign last year, adding that the terms ‘pork scholars’ and ‘medical assistance’ should have been replaced now by ‘state scholars’ and ‘universal healthcare’.

PM explained further that the United Nations (UN) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) have been pushing for ‘universalisation’ in place of the ‘targeting system’ in the provision of social services because it is administratively less costly, inclusive, and more empowering when they become legal entitlements based on people’s needs and not the ability to pay.

The group warned lawmakers not to exploit the frustrations of the masses to smuggle in a plan to reconstitute their PDAF.

PRESS RELEASE
Partido ng Manggagawa
09 January 2014
Contact Wilson Fortaleza @ 09178233956

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[Statement] Another labor leader shot dead -APL

Another labor leader shot dead
NCTU-APL Leadership Condemns the Spate of Killings of Activists
Demands Justice for Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin

APL

The National Confederation of Transportworkers’ Union (NCTU) and the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), together with its affiiates and allied organizations all over the country, condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin, president of the Davao City-based Network of Transport Organization (NETO), an affiliate of NCTU-APL.

Reports have it that at about 8:00 in the morning today, 2 July 2013, motorcycle-riding armed men mercilessly riddled Dodong Petalcorin with bullets, while he was about to leave the premises of his house for the LTFRB, where he was supposed to represent the concerns of his members that need immediate action or resolution.

His wife and children where inside the house when he was cut down by his assassin’s bullets. The clearly determined assassins speedily left the scene of the crime, leaving the lifeless and mangled body of the transport leader, bathed in his crimson blood. His wife and children were shocked at the sudden turn of event.

This latest killing is not an isolated case. More than a month ago or immediately after the May, 2013 elections, Romy Almacin, a Municipal Councilor of the Municipality of Governor Generoso and an Akbayan and an APL rural workers’ leader, was also shot dead in broad daylight in connection with his campaign against graft and corruption and the unbridled illegal drug trades, then, prevailing in that municipality. Before the said election, Emilio Rivera, a comrade of Dodong Petalcorin in the NCTU of Davao City, was also assassinated.

In all these killings, justice was never served and the culprits for the dastardly acts have not been identified and made to answer for their crimes. This is completely unacceptable. And we do not want to see the death of Dodong Petalcorin to be added to the longthening list of unsolved killings in this country.

We grieve with the family of “Dodong Petalcorin” to whom we offer our condolences. We vow to continue working until justice is served.

We call on all social movements to display their outrage over this violence, which are clearly meant to preserve the prevailing unjust status quo and perpetuate the interests of a privileged few.

We call upon the Aquino government to summon its forces to put an end to these killings which are annihilating not only the leaders of the disadvantaged sectors and basic communities but the aspirations of the toiling people.

We also call upon the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) headed by its Chairperson Etta Rosales, to mobilize its various instrumentalities and other concerned agencies of the government to investigate this spate of killings and unmasked the people behind this dastardly acts.

The murderers of Dodong Petalcorin may have killed a leader, but they will never be able to stop our movement from working for systemic reforms and build a better future.

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[Solidarity/Petition] Stand Against Union Busting at Chiquita Bananas -ILRF – Take Action

Stand Against Union Busting at Chiquita Bananas

ILRF – Take Action

SITRAINBA 8 marzo 2013

This International Women’s Day, join us in calling on Chiquita banana supplier Tres Hermanas to bargain with SITRAINBA, the legally-recognized union on its three banana plantations in Honduras.

Since 2009, workers at Tres Hermanas have raised concerns over a pattern of labor rights violations, including failure to pay the minimum wage, unpaid overtime, and the illegal firing of workers attempting to exercise their right to organize. In order to protect their rights, workers on Tres Hermanas’ plantations formed the union SITRAINBA, which was officially recognized by the Honduran Ministry of Labor on August 15, 2012.

But instead of recognizing and bargaining with SITRAINBA as required by Honduras’ labor law, Tres Hermanas’ management has launched a campaign of anti-union harassment, including firing four women who were prominent union supporters. These egregious violations of the workers’ internationally recognized right to organize are all the more shocking since the plantations are Rainforest Alliance certified.

Take a stand against union busting by sending a letter to Tres Hermanas demanding that the management bargain with SITRAINBA and reinstate the fired union members.

Sign petition @action.laborrights.org

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[Press Release] Workers slam PNoy’s $1B loan to IMF -PM

Workers slam PNoy’s $1B loan to IMF

The labor party Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) today slammed the government’s decision to loan $1 billion of the country’s foreign reserves to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The fund is intended for the Eurozone crisis but PM avers that it will be used by the IMF to impose anti-workers austerity schemes in Europe.

“We call on PNoy to reconsider his decision. $1 billion is better used for social protection at home than social devastation abroad. The workers and people of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and even France have rejected austerity through the polls and by protests,” insisted Renato Magtubo, PM national chair.

Tomorrow PM together with the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) will stage a rally at the Central Bank headquarters and office of the Department of Finance in Manila in protest of the loan to the IMF. The rally also coincides with the 9th month anniversary of PALEA’s fight against outsourcing. Last year, on September 27 PALEA launched a protest action at the airport against contractualization which was forcibly suppressed by airport police and security guards.

Gerry Rivera, PALEA president, said that “PNoy readily comes to the aid of European bankers but he is blind and deaf to the cries of the Filipino workers for wage increase and regular jobs. In opposing the loan to the IMF, we are extending the hand of solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Europe. Let us help the needy not the greedy. The IMF will use our $1B—which is the blood and sweat of our OFW’s—to bail out the bankers of Europe and squeeze money from the workers though cuts in wages, pension, subsidies and social programs.”

Magtubo added that “The IMF wants the workers to pay for the crisis of the capitalists. The Eurozone crisis is a result of European governments’ bailing out their bankers which were saddled by failed speculative investments in the subprime housing market in the US that collapsed in 2008. As a result of austerity tied to loans, Greece is in recession for five years running with unemployment at more than 20% in general but more than 50% for the youth. This year Spain fell into a double-dip recession with unemployment rates similar to Greece which will be aggravated by austerity measures dictated in the recent bailout scheme.”

“Just like Europe, the Philippines too is a victim to the anti-labor and anti-people policies of the IMF. Liberalization has led to the collapse of Philippine industry and agriculture resulting to job losses and rural unemployment. Privatization and deregulation has led to price hikes and worsening poverty. It is time for a paradigm shift. International solidarity instead of IMF austerity. Uphold growth and hope instead of recession and injustice in Europe and the Philippines. Shift to a new paradigm of living wages, regular jobs, taxes on the rich, social services, national industrialization and agrarian reform,” Rivera explained.

Press Release
June 26, 2012
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Judy Ann Miranda @ 09175570777, 09228677522

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[Blog] Why Higher Wages Make Economic Sense -politicsforbreakfast.blogspot.com

Why Higher Wages Make Economic Sense
MAY 15, 2012

Last May 1, the usual arguments of the business sector were unleashed with its central theme: No, business cannot afford wage hike. Beset with high cost and poor business climate, business simply cannot survive added cost of labor. How do we attract investments if we increase wages? Look at China and Vietnam. Didn’t they have a cheap labor policy? Aren’t they getting much more investments than us due to lower minimum wages?

As if the anti-wage-hike position isn’t entrenched enough, an army of economists follows with a recital of the dogma of “labor flexibility”. They say, wage level should be equal to the so-called “marginal productivity of labor” – which is economese for whatever the employer wants to pay them. Labor is supposedly not exempt from the law of supply and demand. Raising minimum wage will only increase unemployment, as it supposedly disallows all voluntary labor wage contracts that pay below the minimum wage. It will also introduce inefficiency in the labor markets, now faced with a “deadweight loss” due to the intervention of the government who will always fail to set prices right.

But why, if they are right, aren’t we attracting investments still? What explains Philippine firms’ low level of competitiveness? Why does unemployment remain high? The response has always been, never mind the workers, that it is not enough. Lower wages a bit more, then we’ll get the investments that would have gone to China. Lax regulations a bit more, and we’ll have more productive factories and viable businesses. Dismantle a little bit more unions, and businesses will be more efficient and will eventually increase their wages in the long-run.

Read full article @ politicsforbreakfast.blogspot.com

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[In the news] Labor office in Eastern Visayas warns employers to observe standards | Sun.Star

Labor office in Eastern Visayas warns employers to observe standards | Sun.Star.

February 22, 2012

THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) in Eastern Visayas warned business establishment owners to observe labor standards, particularly on granting the prevailing wages for the workers.

Speaking in a press conference, Labor Regional Director Exequiel Sarcauga said the non-giving of the right wages to the workers is not only being violated by local employers but even foreigners who are doing their businesses in the region.

He said the department would conduct its “routinary inspection” to business establishments operating in the region to check if the owners are following the correct daily minimum wage entitled to the workers.

Based on Wage Order Number 16 issued last year by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWP), which is chaired by the labor regional director, the current daily minimum wage was pegged at P253.

Director Sarcauga said he finds it sad that several business establishments are not following the wage order issued and what makes the situation worst is that business establishments owned by foreigners appear to deliberately violating this order.

“There are so many unscrupulous foreigners who are doing business here (in the region) who are not following our labor standards, including giving the correct daily wage of their workers,” Sarcauga said during the weekly media forum “Harampang ha PIA” held at the regional office of the Philippine Information Agency.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Negros Occidental governor: P97/day wage hike too much | Sun.Star

Negros Occidental governor: P97/day wage hike too much | Sun.Star.

By Teresa Ellera-Dulla, SunStar.com.ph
January 14, 2012

 NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said the P97-per-day wage increase being asked by the labor sector in Western Visayas is too much.

“That will be hard for the businessmen to cope with. If that would be granted, many businesses may close down,” Marañon said.

 

“At this time, it is better that we have jobs rather than getting the high pay but many will lose their jobs,” the governor added.

Marañon said the wage increase should be at the level which the business sector can afford and it should not be uniform to all businesses. Giant companies should give bigger increase because they can afford it, he said.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Labor sector in Western Visayas asks P97/day wage hike | Sun.Star

Labor sector in Western Visayas asks P97/day wage hike | Sun.Star.

By Teresa Ellera-Dulla
January 13, 2012

 THE Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB)-Western Visayas will conduct a public consultation on January 25 to discuss the petition filed by a group of workers asking for an increase in wage.

The Trade Union of Filipino Workers asked for a P97/day increase for the private sector workers in Western Visayas and proposed the two-tiered wage system.

Relative thereto, RTWPB advised the business sector to submit their position paper before the scheduled consultation.

Frank Carbon, president of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said they will oppose any wage hike at this time because it is untimely.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] Most trafficked women, kids from Philippines, Indonesia—ILO – INQUIRER.net

Most trafficked women, kids from Philippines, Indonesia—ILO
By Jerry E. Esplanada, Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 3, 2012

 An undisclosed number of women and children from the Philippines and Indonesia continue to be trafficked into forced commercial sex in countries like China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).

In a report, the United Nations-attached agency also described as “high” the number of cases of forced labor of domestic workers trafficked from the two countries to Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

“In Japan and Australia, women (from the Asia Pacific region) have entered these countries legally under entertainment visas in the expectation of working in dance clubs, only to be forced into providing sexual services,” said the ILO, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

It noted that the “root causes of trafficking and irregular migration (of women and children) included poverty, indebtedness and limited educational and employment opportunities in their rural communities of origin, social exclusion and the lure of the big cities.”

According to the ILO, women and children from the Philippines and Indonesia were among an estimated 9.5 million victims of forced labor in the Asia Pacific region, which represents over three-fourths of the global total of 12.3 million victims.

Read full article @ globalnation.inquirer.net

 

[Blogger] Unity, Solidarity For PALEA – Life in a Box

Unity, Solidarity For PALEA
by Rommel Yamzon (Life in a Box)

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo together with major labor groups and faith-based institutions expressed their solidarity for the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) in a press conference held in Manila, September 8, 2011.

Read more

[Statement] Statement of support for Philippine Airlines’ Employees Association – Urban Missionaries

The Church’s social teaching on labor (Laborem Exercens) so states it crystal clear:

“The Church considers it her task always to call  attention
to the dignity and rights of those who work;
to condemn situations in which that dignity and those rights that are violated;
and to help to guide the above-mentioned changes
so as to ensure authentic progress by man (woman) and society.”

We, the members of the Urban Missionaries (UM) – a mission arm and partner of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) in labor concerns – have been journeying with the members of the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) in their struggles for security of tenure.

We vehemently condemn the decision of the Office of the President to uphold PAL management’s scheme to outsource PAL’s in-flight catering, ticketing and ground services.  Such scheme adversely affects the jobs of 2,600 regular workers. As Church people, we see this acquiescence on the part of Malacañang as glaring insensitivity and callousness towards the precarious condition of workers.

We are appalled at Malacañang’s call on PALEA to “respect and abide by the decision for the sake of industrial peace and the welfare of the flying public.”  Such statement only reveals a benighted misunderstanding of the just bases of industrial peace and welfare and betrays such crass inability to take on the viewpoint of workers and take up their interests.  The peace that the Church calls for is one that is based on justice, solidarity and genuine concern for the victims of injustice.

The workers at PAL have sacrificed more than enough when they agreed to a CBA moratorium in the 1990s.  They willingly set aside their right to collective bargaining to help the company survive the financial crisis of 1990s.  Now that the crisis has been weathered and the company has returned to profitability (PAL has declared it has earned billions of profits last year), PAL management’s way of returning the favor is to outsource the non-core departments, thereby reducing the workers therein to becoming contractual workers.

The motive behind the contractualization scheme is clear as day: PAL management wants to bust the union. What makes the scheme particularly insidious is the underlying thinking that the company’s continuous growth can only be achieved by undermining the workers’ right to self-organization, collective bargaining and security of tenure. But what makes it all the more appalling is the management’s blatant disregard for the law. The Philippine Constitution and the Labor Code unambiguously provide for and guarantee workers’ right to self-organization, collective bargaining and security of tenure.

Contractualization of labor is oppressive and deprives a human person the necessary wherewithal of decent work. We completely reject’s Office of the President’s decision to affirm the DOLE Secretary’s stand on the issue. Contractualization is a regression in labor standards and violation of the dignity of the human person as it constitutes a violation of the Constitution and the Labor Code.

Our workers are not mere expendable commodities but are human beings with value and dignity – the very recipients of all our human endeavors, for holy indeed are the hands that work!

To the President who recognize us “KAYO ANG BOSS KO”, we echo to you:

“Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you
And set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord
Loved Israel forever, he has made you king
To execute justice and righteousness.”

I Kings 10:9

To all the faithful and believers of the sacredness of work, we call on you to join the fight to uphold and reclaim our right to regular work.

Walang Dangal sa Trabahong Kontraktwal!

URBAN MISSIONARIES-AMRSP
19 August 2011

[In the news] Central Luzon workers to get P14 hike in living allowances- INQUIRER.net

Central Luzon workers to get P14 hike in living allowances.

By Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Workers in Central Luzon have been given a P14-increase in their daily cost-of-living allowance (COLA), acting Labor Secretary Danilo Cruz said on Monday in Manila.

Cruz said the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) approved Wage Order No. RB III-16 in granting the COLA increase to all minimum-wage workers in the private sector.

The board “deemed it necessary to provide workers immediate relief from the rising costs of living, taking into account the interests of both labor and management, as well as the continued sustainability of business and industry,” he said.

Workers of non-agricultural establishments with total assets of at least P30 million in Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales would receive P330 per day, Cruz said in a statement.

“Workers in the establishments with a total assets of less than P30 million shall receive P322.50 per day,” he added.

For agriculture workers in the region, except in Aurora, the minimum wage rates would be P300 for plantation workers and P284 for non-plantation workers.

For workers in retail/service establishments with 16 or more workers, the new minimum wage rates will be P319 while those with less than 16 workers will receive P305 per day. Cottage or handicraft workers would receive P284 per day, Cruz said.

In Aurora, minimum wage earners in the non-agricultural sector shall receive a new daily rate of P279, while those in the agricultural sector will receive P264 for plantation workers and P244 for non-plantation workers.

Cruz said retail/service establishments in Aurora with no more than 10 workers would receive P201 per day, while cottage or handicraft workers would receive P252 per day.

Prior to its issuance of the new wage order, RTWPB III declared the existence of a supervening condition on May 9, 2011 because of extraordinary increases in prices of petroleum products, transport fees, and basic goods and services, Cruz said.

“The Regional Board exercised its wage fixing function even if the previous wage order, which was issued on November 22, 2010 has not yet expired,” he added.

Cruz said that the COLA granted under Wage Order No. RB III-16 would be included in the computation of private sector workers’ five days service incentive leave, vacation leave, sick leave, paternity and maternity leaves, and leaves under Republic Act 9262, or the Victims of Violance against Women and their Children Act.

He added that the COLA would also be computed in the payment for 12 national holidays and three special holidays. It is also included in the determination of the premium payments for Social Security System (SSS), Pag-Ibig housing, separation, and retirement pays.

[Urgent Action/Solidarity] support for 10 Vietnamese workers unjustly arrested in South Korea simply for demanding better conditions

From:  <pssp@jinbo.net>
To: jerbertph@yahoo.com
Sent: Saturday, June 4, 2011 7:58:46 PM
Subject: Requesting Solidarity for Vietnamese workers in SK unjustly arrested for work action

Greeting friends and allies,

I am writing to ask for your support for 10 Vietnamese workers unjustly arrested in South Korea simply for demanding better conditions. This is a clear case of the criminalization of documented migrant workers in South Korea and of labor repression. Background information on the case follows.

PSSP is participating in an emergency committee formed to support these workers and fight for their release. The committee includes several labor and social justice movement organizations in South Korea.

A petition to be submitted to the presiding judge in the case is attached. To show your support, please sign it and by fax or email to 82-32-576-8113 or ahihihi@hanmail.net.

We are also collecting petitions in South Korea. All petitions will be submitted to the judge together on June 8 (Korean time.)

<Background>

Recently 10 Vietnamese migrant workers working in South Korea were arrested, detained and brought to the trial.

The Prosecutor’s Office has charged them with several crimes including obstruction of business, group violence, mob assault and assault with a deadly weapon. The prosecution is claiming the Vietnamese migrant workers carried out an illegal strike. In its letter of indictment the prosecution claims that the workers who were arrested had led the strike and used threats and force to make other workers participate.

All those arrested are documented migrant workers who entered South Korea under the Employment Permit System (EPS). If they are convicted, they are highly likely to face deportation under the Immigration Control Act.

The 10 individuals had been among 200 Vietnamese workers employed to construct the substructure of a container wharf at the Incheon New Port last year.

<Working Conditions>

KRW 4,110/hour wage (minimum wage).
12-hour shifts from 7:00 to 19:00 (Lunch break: 12:00-13:00). The company almost always ran two shifts, one from 7:00 to 19:00 and one from 19:00 to 7:00.
Work on Saturday and Sunday even though the employment contract stipulated a Monday to Friday work week.
Only 1 meal a day (lunch) provided free of charge. The cost of breakfast and lunch (KRW 240,000 a month) was deducted from wages. For this reason, the major demand during the strike was the provision of three meals a day. The company offered breakfast and dinner for free from April to May, 2010. But it notified the workers it would offer only lunch for free beginning in July. Many workers who had worked since April staged a walkout and refused to work.

<1st Strike: July 22 to 25, 2010>

Beginning at 7 o’clock in the morning on the 22th of July, 2010, roughly two hundred Vietnamese workers went on a walkout. The walkout continued until 7 o’clock in the evening on the 25th of July, 2010.

The workers made the following demands:

That they be provided three meals a day, free of charge.
That the not be forced to work at night against their will.
That they be allowed to have friends visit them in company-provided living quarters.
That they be allowed to have food, drink and alcohol in their living quarters.

*The company argued that the strike caused losses worth KRW 1 billon. It said it was forced to hired local workers and had to paid extra to rent equipment for an extended period of time.

<2nd Strike: January 9 to 10, 2010>
Most of the Vietnamese workers went on a walkout against beginning on January 9,, 2011. In response, the company changed its policy. It reduced recognized work hours from 12 to 11 hours (The workers worked for 12 hours from 7:00 to 19:00pm, with a lunch break from 12:00 to 1:00pm). The company had previously recognized 12 working hours including 4 hours of overtime work.
*The company argued the second strike caused losses worth KRW 109 million.

<Arrest and Trial>

The 10 Vietnamese migrants continued to be employed and worked after the strike.

Some of those who were arrested had only begun to work in July 2010. As such, they were not in the condition to lead the first strike.

The 10 workers were arrested in March and April 2011, and were charged with interfering with the business, group violence, and mob assault with a deadly weapon.

At a hearing on May 26, the prosecution asked that the workers be given prison sentences of 3 years to 2 of the workers, 1 year and 6 months to 1 worker, 1 year to 6 workers and 1 year suspended for 2 years to 1 worker.

The next hearing in the case will be on June 9.

[In the news] More groups junk P13 wage hike offer | Sun.Star

More groups junk P13 wage hike offer | Sun.Star.

Leody De Guzman, file photo source: flickr.com

MANILA — Militant labor groups on Friday assailed what they saw as connivance of the government and the business sector against a “fair” wage increase.

“They harp the same old classic blackmail against wage increase; that it is inflationary, that it will cause retrenchments, and that it will spell apocalypse,” Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) president Leody de Guzman said.

Post your prayers and condolences for Cebu Vice Governor Greg Sanchez’s family.

De Guzman’s was reacting to Bangko Sentral Governor Amado Tetangco’s warning that an increase higher than P25 is inflationary and will affect the country’s economic performance in the long term.

Compounding the labor group’s ire was Employers Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop) president Edgardo Lacson’s assertion last Wednesday that they could only afford an additional P13.35 for workers’ salaries.

Read full article @ Sunstar.com.ph

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