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Thousands of workers demand urgent gov’t action on looming ‘job massacres’

  Thousands of workers led by Kilusang Mayo Uno demanded urgent government action on looming huge job cuts and called for the creation of decent jobs that will address social needs in the face of an economic situation that sees no immediate recovery.

In a major show of force, workers from North Harbor, Wyeth Philippines, Triumph International and Advan, along with other workers, linked arms and stormed Malacañang today.

“So far, the Arroyo regime has remained blind, deaf and mute regarding the massive layoffs that threaten Filipino workers. Or it has dangled part-time, low-paying, no-income work to workers already laid off from their jobs,” said KMU Chairperson UstarezJoselito “Lito” Ustarez.

“But company moves are also posing serious threats to union recognition and CBA gains of workers along with retrenchment threats. The government, especially the DOLE, should act now – not when the workers have already been removed from their jobs.”

At least 7,000 North Harbor port workers and vendors risk losing livelihood due to the port’s privatization. More than 3,000 local workers of Pfizer and Wyeth face retrenchment woes amid their planned merging.

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines’ 8,000 employees will be affected by management’s plan to cut workforce. Tens of thousands of workers also fear lay-off in Advan shoes, Triumph underwear, Goodyear tires, KFC foodchain, among others. These are but reported cases to KMU.

"DOLE itself has foreseen 200,000 lay-offs by mid-year, but instead of acting for its prevention, it has advocated and legitimized flexible labor schemes for business owners that have worsened the situation. The much needed remedy is long overdue,” Ustarez added.

Decent jobs for social needs
“Beyond guaranteeing job security, government should provide the people with decent jobs that meet our social needs,” Ustarez added.

KMU said the Arroyo regime’s hefty spending on infrastructure projects has only created low-income and temporary jobs and has robbed the much-needed social services of government funds.

“In times of severe economic crises, the government should create jobs that will address the deteriorating state of social services instead of embarking on pump-priming measures that do not directly benefit the poor,” Ustarez said.

“And with the upcoming G20 Pittsburgh Summit, we expect the US-Arroyo regime to act in compliance with new anti-people measures set forth by global economic elites. But we workers will definitely resist!” said Ustarez. ###

Reference Person: 
Joselito "Lito" Ustarez. KMU executive vice president
Contact information: 

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