PRESS RELEASE: S. Tagalog workers in Aquino’s lair; ensnare the “King of Contractual Labor”

hari ng kontraktwalisasyonLabor unions and organizations from the Southern Tagalog region today carried on with the fourth day of the Bigkisan ng Manggagawa Laban sa Kontraktwalisasyon, now marching to Aquino’s house in Times St. in a symbolic trap against the “King of Contractualization”.

Roque Polido, chairperson of regional labor center PAMANTIK-KMU, compared BS Aquino to a ruthless cyborg, that systematically saps the life out of the workers.

He related the effigy that PAMANTIK-KMU prepared for this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), an angel of death with a Janus-like face of Aquino – the other one cyborg-styled.

However, Polido noted that the time for workers’ silence has been long over, as strikes and protests by contractual workers have been sprouting all over the region; such as the Coca-cola workers’ strike in 2013, and the Tanduay contractuals’ strike that sparked last May 18.

“With the unfettered unity of the laborers, the strikes have brought victories to the workers as a whole; with the Coca-cola Sta. Rosa plant workers’ strike delivering regularization to all casuals in Coca-cola plants in the country, and continues serving an inspiration to all the contractuals in the Philippines,” Polido stated.

Being a victim of contractualization in Tanduay Distillers, Inc., Anse Are, the president of contractuals’ association TUDLA, condemned the intensifying contractualization under Aquino. Are added that this, and the combination of harassment and violence from private goons and state forces add up to a new cause for the workers’ problems: death by contractualization.

“We will not be bent again by the policies that Aquino has set down upon the workers. To uphold the dignity of regular work, we must oust a president that has done the opposite – and so we will register our highest discontent and calls tomorrow, on his last SONA,” said Are.

Are assured a large delegation come tomorrow, as Malacañang attempts to surround them with barricades far from Batasang Pambansa, the eventual venue of the SONA.

“Tens of thousands of angry contractual and regular workers, together with more from different groups, will rush through and belie every fib Aquino will propagate tomorrow – in the true State of the Nation,” ended Are. ###

SONA STATEMENT: Manggagawa at mamamayan, magbigkis para patalsikin ang pasimuno ng ibayong kontraktwalisasyon at kahirapan; ang rehimeng US-BS Aquino!

SONA Shirt LayoutMga kababayan, narito na naman tayo sa panahong muling magbubulalas ng kasinungalingan at panloloko si BS Aquino sa ating lahat.

Sa loob ng kanyang limang taong panunungkulan, wala na tayong narinig kundi mga sirang pangako ng pagbabago sa loob ng kanyang “tuwid na daan”, tulad ng kanyang inihatid sa mga manggagawa sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng kakarampot na umento sa sahod at pagpapatuloy ng mga iskemang nagpahirap na sa atin sa loob ng ilang dekada.

Matagal nang nagpasya ang manggagawa at mamamayan na magkaisa, magbigkis, tugisin at patalsikin ang isang pangulong nagbibigay ng labis na pasakit sa kanila – siyang nagdadala ng malahalimaw na pagdurusa.

Iisa lamang ang naging tunay na mensahe ng limang taon ni Aquino: na ang taksil at mapaniil na mukha ngayon ng kanyang rehimen ay hindi naiiba sa mga naunang mapanupil, korap at pahirap na mga administrasyon.

Tulad ng isang abanteng robot, sistematiko at unti-unti tayong pinapatay ng kanyang mga programa at polisiya – na matitipon natin sa limang mayor na punto.

Limang taon ni Aquino: limang taon ng ibayong kahirapan!

Lalo lamang nasadlak sa kahirapan ang mga manggagawa at mamamayan sa ilalim ni Aquino. Mas maraming mga pampublikong serbisyo ang ginagawang negosyo at iniaalay na lamang sa iilang maykaya kaysa sa nakararaming patuloy na naghihirap.

Laganap na ang kawalang-trabaho at kalunos-lunos na kahirapan sa bansa, dulot na rin ng papawalang epekto ng ilusyon ng pag-unlad sa ekonomiya. Mula sa ipinagmamayabang na 7.2% na tantos ng paglaki ng gross domestic product (GDP) noong 2013, bumagal na ito sa 5.8% noong nakaraang taon, at tinatantyang lalo pang bumagal sa mga susunod na buwan. Ngunit sa kabila ng maka-kapitalistang pag-unlad sa ekonomiya, lalo lamang tumaas ang presyo ng bilihin, katulad ng bigas, gulay at iba pa – tulad na lamang ng tumaas na presyo ng bawang — na umabot sa mahigit P200 noong nakaraang taon, habang ginigipit ang libu-libong bawang ng mga malalaking negosyante para pagkakitaan.

Taliwas sa datos ng pamahalaan, labing-isang milyon, o 11.2% ang walang trabaho sa kasalukuyan. Kasama na rito ang mga hindi pa rin nakakabangon na biktima ng mga sakuna tulad ng bagyong Yolanda. Ito na ang pinakamataas na tantos ng kawalang-trabaho sa kasaysayan. Dulot din ito ng susunod na mayor na punto, na nagbabadya ng ibayong pagdedepende ng rehimen sa dayuhan at lalong kahirapan.

hari ng kontraktwalisasyon

Kalahating-dekada ng pagbaon pa lalo sa neoliberal na polisiya!

Lalo lamang naging laganap ang kontraktwalisasyon sa loob ng rehimen ni BS Aquino: ang pamamayani ng labor-only contracting sa bansa ang siyang nagbibigay ng murang paggawa para sa mga kapitalista. Wala itong pasubali sa mga karapatan ng mga manggagawa sa nakabubuhay na sahod at benepisyo!

Aabot na sa walo sa sampung manggagawa ngayon ang kontraktwal, na sinusupil din ang karapatang mag-organisa at depensahan ang kanilang makatwirang panawagan para sa sahod at trabaho – tulad ng marahas na pagsupil sa welga ng mga manggaggawa ng Tanduay,  at mga pagtulak sa protestang manggagawa sa Karzai at Sagara Metro Plastic. Nasaksihan din natin ang kawalang-hustisya sa 72 kontraktwal na manggagawa ng Kentex, na pinabayaang matupok dulot ng kalunos-lunos na occupational health and safety conditions sa pagawaan. Hindi rin natin malilimutan ang biglaang pagsasara ng mga pabrika ng Hoya Glass Disk at Carina Apparel matapos isulong ng mga manggagawa roon ang kanilang mga hangarin.

Pinapasinungalingan ngayon ng mga welga at protestang ito ang pagbulalas ni BS Aquino noong mga nakaraang SONA na walang nagaganap na protesta noong mga nakaraang taon. Sa nakamamamatay na polisyang kontraktwalisasyon, paiingayin natin ang ating pagtutol!

Hindi maitatagong anti-mamamayang dahas!

Sa kabila ng kanyang kawalan ng sagot para sa ilang taong paniningil ng kanyang mamamayan, naghandog naman ng karahasan si BS Aquino sa pamamagitan ng militarisasyon. Mula sa mga datos ng Karapatan, nakatala na ng 238 na pinatay, 26 nawawala, mahigit 730 na iligal na kinulong at libu-libong biktima ng demolisyon at pandarahas ng mga militar at pulis sa pagawaan at sa komunidad. Kabilang na rito ang pagpatay kay Florencio “Ka Bong” Romano, lider-edukador ng manggagawa at Provincial Coordinator ng National Center for the Protection of Workers’ Rights (NCPWR) noong Marso; pagkawala kay Benjamen Villeno noong Agosto 2013; at iligal na pag-aresto sa mag-asawa at konsultant na sina Ernesto Lorenzo at Joyce Latayan nito lamang ika-20 ng Hunyo.

Sa loob at labas ng pagawaan, talamak ang pananakit sa mga manggagawa. Halos araw-arawin ng mga bayarang goons na pagbabatuhin at saktan ang mga manggagawang nagwewelga ng Tanduay! Tulad ng panungunsinti ng rehimen ni BS Aquino sa pananakit sa mga mamamayan, lalo lamang nagiging litaw ang kanyang pagiging sunud-sunuran sa imperyalismong US.

Nagpapatuloy na daantaong pagpapakatuta sa imperyalismong US!

Ipinagpapatuloy ni BS Aquino ang daang-taong pagsisilbi hindi sa mamamayan, kundi sa imperyalista. Bukod sa iligal na kasunduang Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), sinisimulan na rin nito ang pagtatayo ng mga base-militar para sa Kano sa tabing ng pag-uudyok na makipagdigmaan sa Tsina. Halimbawa nito ang itinatayong base sa Sangley Point sa Cavite at Ulugan Bay sa Palawan.

Pakana rin ng US ang madugong operasyon sa Mamasapano, kung saan namatay ang mahigit 70 mandirigma at sibilyan. At sa papatinding paniniktik ng US at ng military sa mamamayan, tulad ng mga drone sightings noong ika-11 ng Hulyo sa Atimonan, Quezon, ilang araw matapos ang engkwentro sa pagitan ng militar at New People’s Army.

Ngunit, ang pinakamaningning na ebidensya ng panghihimasok ng US sa ekonomiya at pulitika ng bansa, bukod sa bilyong-dolyar na pamumuhunan sa bansa, ay ang pagpapasimuno nito ng Oplan Bayanihan, na punong abala sa pandarahas sa mga mamamayan sa kanayunan at sa mga lungsod. Binubuhusan din nito ang bulsa ng daan-daang mga kurap na kongresista, senador at maging ang napakalaking bulsa ni BS Aquino.

Walang-taning na paglustay sa kaban ng yaman!

Tahasang niloko ni Aquino ang taumbayan nang mangako siyang tapusin na ang malawakang korapsyon sa bansa – lalo lamang tumindi ang pagnanakaw sa pera ng mamamayan sa loob ng kanyang administrasyon. Hindi na natin maliliutan ang pakikipagsabwatan niya at ng kanyang mga alyado kay Janet Lim-Napoles para sa Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) ng mga kongresista, at iba pang proyekto ng mga senador. Walang pag-aatubili rin niyang dinepensahan ang Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), na siyang naging kapalit ng PDAF, at parehong tinakdang unconstitutional o bawal sa batas ng Korte Suprema.

Sa limang taon ng pamamayagpag ng pandarambong sa kaban ng bayan, hindi na natin maipapagkailang labis pa sa naungkat na 10 bilyong piso at mga senador at kongresistang nasa oposisyon ang sangkot. Mula sa mga pananaliksik, lagpas kalahati ng pambansang badyet, o halos dalawang trilyong piso, ang napupunta sa malakihang pondong aayon sa alokasyon ni Aquino, o ang Special Purpose Funds (SPF). Hindi natin ninanais na maging kasangkapan lamang ng iilang mga kurap ang ating dugo’t pawis, kundi ito ay ilaan para sa pambansang kaunlaran at pagkamit ng libre at dekalidad na serbisyong panlipunan.

Sa lahat ng kanyang mga kasalanan at pagpapabaya sa mga mamamayan, siya na rin ay isang anghel ng kamatayan – na nagbabadya ng ibayong kahirapan para sa mga manggagawa at mamamayan.

Sa darating na huling State of the Nation Address ni Aquino, paalingawngawin natin ang sigaw ng bayan; sa ating pagbibigkis, ang ating panawagan: patalsikin si Aquino!

Itaguyod ang lipunang nagsusulong ng hustisya, demokrasya at kapayapaan!

LUMAHOK SA SONA NG BAYAN MULA HULYO 23 – 27!

PATALSIKIN ANG ANTI-MANGGAGAWANG REHIMENG US-BS AQUINO: PANGUNAHING MAY PAKANA SA IBAYONG KONTRAKTWALISASYON AT KAHIRAPAN SA MANGGAGAWA AT MAMAMAYAN!

ITAGUYOD ANG PAMBANSANG DEMOKRASYA TUNGO SA PANLIPUNANG PAGBABAGO!

S. Tagalog workers slam illegal detention of longtime labor advisor and NDFP consultant, housewife

freeallppsRegional labor center Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan – Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU) condemns the illegal arrest of labor organizer Ernesto Lorenzo and his wife, Joyce Latayan by combined efforts from government agents from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) last Monday.

Lorenzo was a longtime trade union advisor and is now a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

“Lorenzo and Latayan’s incarceration is expected to add to BS Aquino boasting of his ‘war medallions’ in time for his last State of the Nation Address (SONA),” said Allan Bagas, secretary-general of PAMANTIK-KMU.

According to accounts, Lorenzo left their house in San Jose del Monte town in Bulacan to buy computer components and gadgets in Gilmore, Quezon City, when at 12 noon, seven agents in plain clothing approached him as the former left the comfort room. The agents told Lorenzo to come with them, since the latter had cases.

Lorenzo, alarmed, asked them who they were and clarified that he was not a criminal. Unfettered, the agents restrained him, while immediately informing the public that he was not a criminal. With commotion ensuing, CIDG agents quickly led him out and transported him to a black car, which presented no warrant of arrest upon request.

Such arrests are deemed illegal by Philippine law, as a warrant of arrest is necessary to restrain someone.

Lorenzo also had with him immunity from arrest since he was protected by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees as a NDFP peace consultant, under Document of Identification No. ND978299 under the assumed name Lean Martinez. It was dismissed by CIDG agents.

He was then brought to Philippine National Police (PNP) general headquarters in Camp Crame and was asked for coordination, or else, his wife will be detained too. However, while suffering handcuff wounds, remained calm and requested for an attorney. He also denied them samples of his DNA.

Meanwhile, at 2:15 PM, his wife, Joyce Latayan, was at their house when she noticed shadows by the doorway – which, upon close examination, were three plainclothes men. When she opened the door, the agents confirmed if she was Joyce Latayan, and stormed the house afterwards. Looking outside, Latayan noticed that twelve cars were parked nearby.

As the incognito agents allegedly searched the house, they brought planted evidence – sling bags full of M203 rifle grenades, ammunition and explosives. The agents also failed to present a warrant of arrest.

They left behind their 2 children with a guardian. Lorenzo faces alleged charges of destructive arson in Lucena City, Quezon province. Latayan is slapped with only a search warrant from Cabanatuan City and a jump bail from her case last 2008.

Bagas slammed the unlawful apprehension as another desperate attempt to silence activists and critics of the Aquino regime, which he said was genuinely guilty of crimes against the people.

“As BS Aquino’s administration wanes away, he does not leave without a mark – which will only be much worse than his predecessors’. The arrests of Lorenzo and Latayan will only be marked in the future as another transgression against the people, while the Aquino administration carries on with its anti-worker and anti-people programs under US dictates,” he added.

After their detention, the list of illegal detention cases now mounts to about 727, per figures of human rights group Karapatan. Such detainees, or political prisoners, suffer from poor living conditions in detention centers, which in one case led to the untimely death of Andrea Rosal’s unborn daughter, Diona Andrea.

Lorenzo, an asthmatic, also suffers from a slipped disk, hypertension and Hepatitis-B. Jail guards are currently preventing immediate medical attention to respond to his needs.

Meanwhile, protests are expected to be held in different parts of the region and central government agencies in the following days.

“The cruel arrest serves as another stain on BS Aquino’s reputation as a so-called ‘protector of human rights,’ which his armed forces claim to be. Cases of human rights violations, including those of Lorenzo and Latayan, only contribute to the people’s call to oust Aquino, and will lead to a larger protest come his last SONA,” ended Bagas. ###

PRESS RELEASE: As Aquino’s last SONA draws near, workers stage unity march vs contractualization

shirtdesFour days before the last State of the Nation Address (SONA) of BS Aquino, regional labor center PAMANTIK-KMU emblazoned the workers’ voice against contractualization through the Bigkisan ng Manggagawa Laban sa Kontraktwalisasyon (Unity of Workers Against Contractualization) at Amar Balibago, Santa Rosa City today.

This is the workers’ own version of SONA: the State of the Workers’ Address (SOWA). More than 3,000 workers, youth and students joined the event, which was accented by a sea of red shirts.

Allan Bagas, secretary-general of PAMANTIK, said that the contractualization scheme hits home with the concerns of the workers: job security, low wages, lack of benefits, among others.

“Seven to nine out of ten workers in the country experience all of these as contractual workers, which is another excuse for capitalists to get cheap labor and for BS Aquino to say that many are employed – albeit without saying they are still impoverished,” he added.

With them are workers’ unions and the thousands of contractual workers in the region, including the Tanduay contractuals’ association Tanggulang Ugnayang Daluyang Lakas ng Anakpawis sa Tanduay Distillers, Inc. (TUDLA), which has been on strike for more than two months now, since the latest Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) Region IV-A decision to regularize 103 casuals has not been implemented.

Bagas said that the strike shows how contractuals can unite and fight for their rights to higher wages, benefits, tenure and better workplaces.

“Like the victory of Sta. Rosa Coca-cola workers last 2013, the Tanduay workers’ strike is in the history books. Millions of contractuals in the country now look up to them as an inspiration,” noted Bagas.

This follows yesterday’s Bigkisan ng Magsasaka, Kabataan at Manggagawa (Unity of Peasants, Youth and Workers) at Crossing, Calamba, where they expressed their issues and their own version of SONA; deemed more reliable and factual than Aquino’s actual SONAs.

They also merged with the eventual victims of the Laguna Lake Megadike Project in lakeside communities in Binan and Sta. Rosa after the SOWA, which was led by the Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM).

The multisectoral march will push through to Manila tomorrow, as they troop to central offices in the city to protest contractualization and other neoliberal policies in the country. They will also go to the US Embassy and the Chinese consulate to assert Philippine national sovereignty in the face of territorial disputes and foreign domination. ###

Sa patuloy na kawalan ng tugon ni Baldoz:  Protest camp, itinayo sa harap mismo ng DoLE! 

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Intramuros, Maynila – Isang protest camp ang itinayo sa harap mismo ng Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) dahil hindi na masikmura ng mga manggagawa mula sa Timog Katagalugan ang kawalang pakialam ni Rosalinda Baldoz.

Matagumpay na naitayo ang protest camp o kubol sa harap ng DoLE sa ganap na 5:00PM ngayong July 13, bilang pagpapakita ng disgusto ng mga manggagawa sa patung-patong na mga kasong nakabinbin sa nasabing ahensiya.

Ani Roque Polido, tagapangulo ng Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (PAMANTIK-KMU), pangunahing pumapatay sa kabuhayan ng mga manggagawa ngayon sa bansa ang malawakang kontraktwalisasyon. “Hindi kailanman nagkaroon ng hakbang si Baldoz upang resolbahin ang malalim na ugat ng kahirapan ng sektor ng paggawa, kasama na ang kawalan ng kaseguruhan sa trabaho, mababang pasahod at kawalan ng benepisyo naming mga manggagawa,” saad ni Polido.

Napapanahon umano ang pagtatayo ng protest camp dahil na rin sa mga hindi naibibigay na hinaing ng mga manggagawa sa mga sonang industriyal sa Laguna: partikular sa Tanduay, Sagara, Karzai, Fuji at marami pang iba.

“Magdadalawang buwan na kaming nakawelga ngunit nananatiling hilaw ang desisyon ng DoLE sa aming regularisasyon. Malala pa dito, walang hakbang ang Tanduay management na ipatupad ito. Nasaan ngayon ang DoLE na siyang dapat nagtatanggol sa amin?” tanong ni Anse Are, tagapangulo ng Tanggulang Ugnayan Daluyang Lakas ng Anakpawis sa Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TUDLA).

Simula pa noong Mayo 18 ay ipinutok ng mga manggagawang kontraktwal ng Tanduay sa Cabuyao ang kanilang welga upang ipanawagan ang regularisasyon. Naglabas nitong June 22 ang DoLE Region IV-A ng kautusan sa management na dapat na silang i-regularisa subalit 103 lamang ito sa kabuuang 397 manggagawang kontraktwal o 90% ng lakas-paggawa sa Tanduay. Patuloy na “nakasaad lamang ito sa papel” at nakabitin sa walang-katiyakan ang desisyong ito.

Samantala, matapos ang higit isang taon ng pagsunod sa rekisitos ng pagbubuo ng unyon – pagdurog sa kanilang unyon at malawakang kontraktwalisasyon rin ang problema ng mga manggagawa ng Sagara Metro Plastics Industrial Corp. Noong Abril 8 ay arbitraryong ipinatigil ng kautusan ng Malacañang ang kanilang Certification Elections. Makailang ulit na silang naghain ng reklamo sa DoLE at nagrehistro ng protesta rito subalit walang usad ang kanilang kalagayan.

Panggigipit naman sa Collective Bargaining Agreement ang nararanasan ng unyon ng Fuji Electric Philippines, samantalang matagumpay mang nakabalik sa trabaho ang iligal na tinanggal sa Karzai Corp. ay patuloy ang panganib na matanggal dahil sa kontraktwalisasyon sa kanilang pagawaan.

“Ilan lamang ito sa garapalang pagyurak sa karapatan ng mga manggagawa sa aming rehiyon, at ito’y hindi nalalayo sa nangyari sa mga manggagawang kontraktwal ng Kentex na walang hustisiya dalawang buwan na ang nakararaan,” ani Polido.

Ani Polido kasama ang mga iba’t ibang manggagawa, patikim lamang ang nabanggit na protest camp sa nagkakaisang hanay at lakas ng mga manggagawa at mamamayan sa darating na huling State of the Nation Address ni Noynoy Aquino. Bagama’t may banta ng dispersal mula sa security guards at kapulisan ay desidido silang pagtibayin ang hanay hangga’t hindi humaharap si Baldoz at makipag-usap upang tunay na makatulong sa mga manggagawa.

“Kung patuloy na magbibingi-bingihan ang rehimen sa aming hinaing, ang maidudulot lamang nito ay ang paglakas ng sama-samang pagkilos ng mamamayan upang mailantad at patalsikin ang rehimen at sa kalaunan ay palitan ang bulok na sistemang hindi kailanman nagsisilbi sa mga manggagawa,” saad ni Polido. #

Before Aquino’s last SONA: Southern Tagalog workers intensify protests against contractualization

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Months without resolutions on labor disputes concerning contractualization, union-busting and unfair labor practices, workers from Southern Tagalog stage a series of protests starting today, to intensify their calls and to condemn the Aquino government’s anti-worker policies.

These protests are expected to strengthen nearing the last State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Noynoy Aquino on July 27. “More lies will again be said about the supposedly straight path to progress of our country, yet it remains as a reality that the condition of Filipino workers have worsened under poverty due to Aquino’s adherence to neoliberal programs,”  Roque Polido, Chairperson of Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (PAMANTIK-KMU) said.

Merging with other workers from the National Office of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), around a hundred workers from various factories of the region staged a protest march and program at Mendiola Bridge today. A protest camp was also set-up in front of the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to pressure Rosalinda Baldoz to at once make a decision in favor of the workers demands.

Amidst the order released last June 22 by the DoLE Region IV-A Office to regularize 103 contractual workers of Tanduay Distillers Inc. in Cabuyao, Laguna, the Tanduay management has no move to do so. Tanduay workers have been on strike for nearly two months since May 18 and have experienced numerous human rights violations due to dispersal attempts by security guards and hired goons of the Asia Brewery compound. Working for 5 to 11 years, 90% or 397 of their workforce were employed illegally under the scheme of Labor Only Contractual (LOC).

“Richard Teng and Lucio Tan remain deaf and defiant even to the rule of law. It seems that they are finding ways to reverse the decision or fully ignore it. The government must implement sanctions on Tanduay management’s inaction. We demand that we be regularized at once!” Anse Are, President of Tanggulang Ugnayan Daluyang Lakas ng Anakpawis sa Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TUDLA) said.

Meanwhile, Sagara Metro Plastics Industrial Corporation, a factory of auto-parts located in Calamba City, are also experiencing widespread contractualization. 60% or 400 of their workers are contractual. The workers are also repressed from forming a genuine union when their Certification Elections were arbitrarily cancelled by a Malacanang order last April 8. “This is why exploitation by big capitalists becomes a norm in our country – the Aquino government has a direct hand in crushing the organized efforts of workers to unionize and fight for their rights,” Polido said.

Other factory workers such as the Karzai Corporation in Cabuyao, through their collective strength have triumphed against the illegal dismissal of 35 of their fellow workers. Their next step was to form a union, through the Ilaw, Gabay at Pag-asa sa Karzai Corporation (IGPAK-OLALIA) that hopes to resolve the 90% or more than 300 employed under LOC.

Similar conditions of contractualization can be observed inside the Manila Cordage Company, also in Calamba City. While unionized workforce from the Lakas ng Nagkakaisang Manggagawa sa Fuji Electric Philippines face a Collective Bargaining Agreement where only “crumbs” are given to their calls of P80 wage increase and various benefits.

“The local struggles of workers in Southern Tagalog paint a clear picture of how the Aquino regime does nothing but serve the interests of these so called foreign investors through connivance with the local elite and ruling class. Only through the collective struggle of workers and the people can we truly change this rotten system that perpetuates under Aquino’s rule and even beyond his term. We expect nothing new from Aquino’s last SONA – only the rage of the people replenished from his five years of disservice,” Polido said. #

Workers to Tanduay management: “Implement DoLE’s order to regularize contractuals immediately!”

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CABUYAO, LAGUNA – “The regularization of Tanduay workers still only exists on paper.”

Anse Are, President of Tanggulang Ugnayan Daluyang Lakas ng Anakpawis sa Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TUDLA), stressed these words as more than a week after, the Tanduay management has not yet implemented the regularization of the contractual workers – as directed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) Region IV-A through an Order released last June 22.

Are also declared that the strike, on its 45th day today, will continue to be staged for as long as the demands of the workers are not met – which is regularization not only of the 103 as stated in the Order, but all 397 of the contractual workers.

Though TUDLA welcomes the decision of DoLE Region IV-A, Are said that there are two-sides that have to be considered. “On one hand, DoLE’s declaration is a concrete victory brought by the collective action of workers and other sectors who supported the strike. Not only is it a historical feat, but an inspiration for all contractuals to persevere in organizing their ranks and fight against contractualization,” Are said.

“On the other hand, DoLE’s order is also divisive, expecting us to give up the fight once only 103 or 26% of us are regularized when we clearly stand for all of our fellow contractual workers,” he stressed. Are also feared that Tanduay management will ignore this Order all throughout, as witnessed during the labor disputes of other Lucio Tan group of companies – such as the Philippine Airlines (PAL) employees’ strike on 2011. The PAL strike was smeared with reversal of decisions by the Supreme Court which ultimately led to the termination of 2,600 employees.

“The fight is far from being over, and Lucio Tan as a notorious capitalist will definitely appeal to other government offices to take away our hard-earned legal victory. We will continue to stage our strike and call for the people’s support in defending our picket line and boycotting all Tanduay products,” he said.

Ariel Velasquez, Chairperson of the Liga ng mga Manggagawa Para sa Regular na Hanapbuhay (LIGA), stressed the need to intensify the campaign in ensuring that the Tanduay workers are regularized. “Only through the people’s unwavering support can we pressure both government agencies and private companies to respect and uphold the rights of the working class,” he said.  ###