Duterte killing workers with TRAIN and 12-hour work day bill

To commemorate the International Day for Decent Work today, workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno held a national day of protest to demand the junking of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN) and the Alternative Work Arrangement Bill (Senate Bill 1571) which they claim would kill workers with worsened precarious work.

“Exorbitant taxes and extended work hours kills workers. Duterte’s onslaught of anti-worker policies, which are now being railroaded in the Senate, will further press down our already meager wages and will subject us to slave-like work conditions,” Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, said.

KMU claimed that workers have nothing to gain and everything to lose should both houses of Congress pass the Duterte administration’s tax reform package on today’s scheduled bicameral conference.

“Duterte’s TRAIN will rob us of our already meager wages by imposing new burdensome taxes on basic goods and services. Worse, it even aims to remove the tax exemption for minimum wage earners,” Labog said.

Meanwhile, the Senate is also set to pass the Senate Bill 1571 which aims to institutionalize flexible work schemes that would subject workers to more than 12-hours of daily work which violates their universal right to an 8-hour work day.

“Instead of heeding our demands for decent work, living wages and regular jobs, the government has been pushing for the legalization of flexible work schemes that would subject us to forced slave-labor. It would also result in wage cuts, massive lay-offs and workplace deaths and illnesses,” said Labog.

The KMU led national day of protest was held in key cities across the country. In Metro Manila, workers stormed the house of Senate in Pasay City while similar protests were held in Department of Labor and Employment regional offices and protest centers in Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon, Panay, Cebu, Negros, Davao, Caraga, General Santos and Cagayan de Oro.

“Duterte has already been murdering workers with his tyrannical and fascist rule. We will not allow him to kill more workers with his onslaught of US-dictated neoliberal economic policies. This administration could only expect bigger workers’ protest over his failed promises and intensifying attacks against our wages, jobs and rights,” Labog said.