Hundreds of workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno trooped the Department of Labor and Employment’s office to present their critique on the labor department’s first 100 days.
In a protest held in time for the DOLE’s labor sector dialogue on labor issues and policies, the KMU insisted that until now, the labor department has taken no concrete step towards fulfilling President Duterte’s commitment to end contractualization.
“We weighed the DOLE’s efforts to heed our workers’ pressing demand to end contractualization. Clearly, the labor department has taken no concrete steps to fulfill the President’s commitment,” Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, said.
The labor leader claimed that the labor department’s efforts to address contractualization does not directly respond to our workers’ demands for regular jobs.
“The recently issued Department Order 162 and Labor Advisory 10 are not aimed at ending contractualization. These merely reiterates the provisions of the DO 18-A which workers have long been demanding to be junked for institutionalizing labor contractualization” Labog said.
During the labor dialogue, KMU presented a draft of workers’ proposed Department Order to replace the “anti-worker” DO 18-A. According to Labog, their proposed DO aims to “strengthen workers’ rights to security of tenure by asserting that principal employers should have full responsibility for their workers while labor contractors should be considered as mere agents”.
The KMU also slammed the government’s so-called “win-win” solution to contractualization saying it would surely be a “lose-lose” situation for workers.
“Regularization through labor contractors further weakens workers’ security of tenure as it ceases any employer-employee relationship between workers and the principal employer,” said Labog.
Labog meanwhile expressed alarm over the appointment of well-known management lawyers in key positions in the DOLE saying these officials are out to sabotage the Filipino workers’ unity with President Duterte to end contractualization.
“We urge secretary Bello not to listen to, and if possible kick-out, these scumbags from the DOLE! These pro-capitalists lawyers are openly defying the Presidents’ marching orders by rejecting our workers’ legitimate demands to end contractualization in order to protect their personal and business interests,” Labog said.
On the other hand, KMU is looking forward a positive unity with the DOLE in implementing a National Minimum Wage of seven-hundred and fifty pesos a day for public sector workers saying it could serve as an immediate relief amidst the worsening hunger and poverty among workers.
“We are glad that the Duterte administration is one with workers in seeking to implement a national minimum wage to par wages in provinces to wages in Metro Manila. However, we will be vigilant and assertive in demanding concrete steps to make sure this will be implemented as soon as possible” Labog said.