National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno is looking forward the scheduled dialogue with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang on February 27 to assert the Filipino workers’ unified position and demand to end all forms of contractualization.
However, we strongly reject the Department of Labor and Employment’s twisted claim that the so-called “impasse” and “deadlock” on the issue of contractualization is due to the lack of unity among workers’ positions. Workers cannot be blamed for the DOLE’s apparent bias in favor of big businesses and labor contractors.
Filipino workers have long been united in our position that all forms of contractualization must end. Our unwavering unified demand have already been registered strongly during the October 17 Labor Summit and succeeding inter-island Labor Summits. Our concrete proposals and recommendations have also been presented before the DOLE. We have even drafted a proposed Department Order to replace the pro-contractualization DO 18-A series of 2011.
The impasse on the issue is precisely a result of the DOLE’s strong rejection of workers’ unified position. Secretary Silvestre Bello has devoted himself in upholding the “win-win” solution proposed by big business and labor contractors in connivance with the Department of Trade and Industry. He has since the beginning been pushing for further institutionalization and legalization of contractual employment schemes through his Department Order 168 which directly opposes workers’ position.
The labor dialogue with President Duterte will determine the direction of this administration’s commitment and promises towards ending contractualization. We stress that Filipino workers have only one resounding and unified demand: end all forms of contractualization!