Arman Blasé KMU Spokesperson said “Such demands are still stubbornly refused by the Arroyo government for its priority is to remain apologists for Big Business and US Imperialism. Arroyo is also focused on clinging to power by kowtowing to the interest of big capitalists rather than to workers and other basic sectors.”
“Further, the motive to open up the country’s resources and institutions to full foreign ownership through the Charter Change is Arroyo’s labor day gift to big capitalists and multinational corporations in these times of global financial crisis. This means more wage cuts, lay-offs, and unjust flexible labor conditions as big capitalists will have further control of our economy,” added Blase.
Blasé also expressed dismay over the planned simultaneous DOLE (Department of Labor & Employment) job fairs all over the country dubbed as Labor Day Jobapalooza ’09 on May 1 saying the “publicity stunt is a slap to the overworked, underpaid and heavily exploited millions of workers and jobless young workers in the country.”
The National Economic Development Authority posts 40,000 Filipino workers as having lost their jobs in the export processing zone only. As 2009 ends, another 800,000 workers are expected to lose their jobs. At least 20,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) were retrenched as a result of the global financial crisis. About 4.3 million Filipinos who lost their jobs were already recorded just before the financial crisis erupted.
“Indeed, many cases of layoffs and retrenchments were caused not by wage increases, as capitalists and their apologists in the Arroyo administration would have it. Rather, they were caused by the unbridled implementation of labor flexibilization by foreign and local big capitalists. Job fairs cannot solve the perennial problem of unemployment and low wages. On the other hand, throughout the years, workers nationwide and those from different provinces in Southern Mindanao Region have continued the struggle for the P125 Across the Board wage Increase. “But what has the US- Arroyo regime offered to workers instead? Union Busting, military intervention in the picket line and among militant unions, repressive labor policies, among others,” Blasé said.
He also outlined the following demands:
Review all cases of displacements, wage cuts, and excessive flexible labor practices with the employer citing the global economic crisis as primary factor to check for due process and legitimacy. Review cases of OFW retrenchments and deportments as well.
Monitor companies who plan or threaten to implement dismissals and arduous flexible labor arrangements.
Prevent rationalization plans in the government that will lead to massive
retrenchments in the public sector.
Support the regularization of workers. Fight against the massive contractualization, casualization, and other temporary forms of employment that depresses workers’ wages and benefits.
Assistance to displaced workers
Ensure the easy and immediate grant to all workers of the benefits due to them by their social and insurance systems, and their separation pays and other entitlements from their employers. Secure funds of public social securities such as SSS, GSIS, for direct and sole assistance to its membership only.
Ensure that displaced OFWs obtain full compensation, placement fee and air transportation reimbursements, payment for unexpired portion of contracts, among others.
Provide immediate relief including, but not limited to, direct cash assistance to all retrenched workers.
Call for the immediate hearing and passage of House Bill 1722 that would legislate nationwide substantial wage hikes.
Prevent massive and illegitimate imposition of wage cuts, reduction of work shift and hours, long working hours without overtime pay, and deduction of other due wages and benefits.
Increase government subsidy and ensure delivery of necessary social services. Re-channel budget and resources from debt, military, other onerous spending, to public services.
Provide assistance and government incentives to SMEs to help them avoid displacing or cutting back the wages of their workers, and to allow them to create and expand jobs inside the country. Redirect various forms of fiscal incentives to TNCs to local enterprises.
Support basic public needs for shelter and livelihood, oppose demolitions and oppressions to informal workers.
Impose price control mechanisms on oil, petroleum products, rice, food, electricity, and other basic goods.
Remove the 12% tax on oil, power, and water to lower prices and provide immediate relief to the public.
Crackdown against government corruption and bureaucratic wastage to protect much needed public resources.
Oppose the passage of Charter Change that shall further make the national economy vulnerable to foreign directives.
Support projects and policies that gear towards genuine development of the country’s agriculture and basic industries.
KILUSANG MAYO UNO
Southern Mindanao Region (KMU-SMR)
Tagapamandila Ng Tunay Na Unyonismo
55-8A Sacred Heart Apts., Veloso St., Barrio Obrero Davao City
Tel (63082)305.4962 [email protected]
April 30, 2009