Published: July 19, 2012
A newly-formed alliance of some of the country’s biggest labor groups picketed the main office of the Department of Labor and Employment in Intramuros, Manila today to call for the junking of contractualization, calling the employment scheme a “pest” for the Filipino workers and people.
The alliance, named Action against Contractualization and Towards a Significant Wage Hike Now (ACT 2 WIN), is composed of labor centers, federations and unions: the Alliance of Filipino Workers, Federation of Free Workers, Kilusang Mayo Uno, National Labor Union, and as well as the Makati Medical Center Employees’ Association and the Koalisyon ng Progresibong Manggagawa at Mamamayan.
To show their solidarity against contractualization, leaders of the workers’ groups locked arms and held a streamer with the words “Junk Contractualization” written on it.
“Contractualization has long been abused and being used to exploit the workers in the Philippines. Greedy capitalists exploit such scheme to circumvent the right to security of tenure of the workers — said employers are prostituting our right guaranteed by the fundamental law,” said Sonny Matula, FFW chairperson. “Capitalists’ profits have been increasing while workers’ families suffer from hunger and poverty because of contractualization. Contractualization runs counter to the principles of social justice, for worsening the inequality between the haves and have-nots,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“We have united to call for regular employment, for workers’ security of tenure, and for decent work. We vow to enjoin more labor groups and act together against contractualization,” said Dave Diwa, NLU president.
The workers said contractualization presses down workers’ wages, denies workers benefits and job security, and makes it difficult for contractuals to join and form unions.
According to government data, less than 10 per cent of the country’s wage and salary workers are unionized and a smaller fraction of which is covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements.
“Among the country’s private hospitals, contractuals are given the dirty jobs. How can they serve the patients well if their wages and benefits are low and their job security close to zero?” asked Lito Calderon, AFW president.
“Contractualization has been used by capitalists to weaken existing workers’ unions. The huge numbers of contractuals have been used to weaken unions’ strikes,” said Sammy Malunes, KPMM spokesperson.