National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno hailed today presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe for criticizing the administration of Pres. Noynoy Aquino, the situation of the country’s workers, and long-term contractualization among the country’s workers.
The labor group said Poe’s statements last Monday that many Filipinos remain poor and hungry after six years of “daang matuwid (straight path),” that contractualization is unfair and unjust, that workers are overworked and underpaid, and that workers need lower income taxes are all correct.
“We are glad that Sen. Poe has spoken up on the terrible economic legacy of Aquino and the situation of the country’s workers. We are glad that the front-runner in the 2016 elections has condemned contractualization,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
The labor leader said Poe’s criticism is “like a breath of fresh air” amidst many politicians’ refusal to criticize the Aquino government and much needed given the need for an honest assessment of the condition of the Filipino workers and people.
“We certainly welcome Sen. Poe’s fair assessment of the condition of the Filipino workers and people after six years of daang matuwid. It goes against the lies of the Aquino government and is important if we are to move forward as a nation,” Labog added.
KMU said that contractualization has meant the wholesale violation of workers’ rights – to a living wage, to job security, and to the free exercise of trade-union rights – is a crime against workers and should be junked immediately.
It said that more workers and employees, both in the private and public sectors, have become contractuals under Aquino, and that contractuals now comprise the majority of the country’s workforce.
“We are calling on all presidentiables to bare their assessment of the impact of Aquino’s presidency on workers and the poor. We are calling on all of them to bare their platform with regard to wages demands for higher wages, the junking of contractualization, a stop to union busting, and safer workplaces,” Labog stated.