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Palace gimmicks on Labor Day won’t solve workers’ woes - KMU

Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) said that nothing can prevent workers from joining the nationwide Labor Day rallies tomorrow, especially as the government obviously attempts to dilute the significance of Labor Day through its mega-job fairs, holiday economics and non-wage benefits.

KMU chairperson Elmer Labog said workers are determined to raise their urgent concerns tomorrow in the nationally-coordinated actions in the National Capital Region and urban cities nationwide.

Meanwhile, in response to Malacanang’s granting of P200 million to the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and other “labor groups” as “assistance package,” Labog said the government bribed TUCP to keep its mouth shut on the issue of workers’ wage increase.

“It is the TUCP leadership’s reward for conniving with Arroyo for nine years. Now it is clear: the TUCP’s recent “struggle” for wage hike is nothing but a battering ram for extracting a doleout from the government – from taxpayers’ money, no less.”

“What these yellow leaders have done to Filipino workers is no less than treachery. They rode on the clamor for wage increase in the name of stuffing their pockets with millions while leaving the workers with nothing. They and their corrupt deeds should be condemned,” said Labog.

Job fairytales and wage freeze

On the Department of Labor and Employment’s mega-job fairs tomorrow, Labog said it only affirms the fact that Arroyo merely gave Filipinos job fairs and not jobs. He said that the increasing number of attendees in job fairs proves that these are a big failure. Many workers are already calling these “job fairytales” or “joke fairs” because they fail to provide jobs to the thousands who seek work.”

Workers are demanding for economic relief through actual wage hikes and not non-wage benefits. In her remaining days in office, Arroyo persisted to be averse to any wage increase for workers.

Labog said that while KMU also supports amendments to the antiquated Labor Code, it does not agree with the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP)’s proposals.

“The proposed amendments of ECOP will only make the Labor Code more of a monster. These proposals – which include openly legalizing labor contractualization and flexibilization schemes, repealing the prohibition for night work for women, and greater leeway for employers to fix wage levels during times of ‘economic difficulty’– will plunge the local labor force deeper into poverty and hunger.

Reference Person: 
Elmer "Bong" Labog, KMU Chairperson
Contact information: 
0908-163-6597 / 0919-416-3451

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