Opposition vs ‘deadly’ compressed work week voiced out by workers

National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno today held a Metrowide protest and social media day to express workers’ opposition against the looming institutionalization of compressed work week schemes which they claim ‘kills’ workers.

In Pasay city, workers trooped the Senate building to call for the junking of the Senate Bill 1571 or the Compressed Work Week bill filed by Senator Joel Villanueva. They held a mass die-in protest to show how forced extended work hours kills workers.

“The Duterte administration wants to kill us by legalizing slave labor through compressed work week schemes. These flexible work arrangements that forces workers to work for 12-hours have already been implemented by big multinational corporations since the 90’s and has resulted in wage cuts, massive lay-offs, work related diseases and even workplace deaths,” Lito Ustarez, KMU vice chairperson for political and external affairs, said.

Local unions in export processing zones in Laguna also held lunchbreak protests to cite the effects of the implementation of extended work hour schemes in their workplaces.

In Nexperia (formerly NXP Semiconductors Inc.), one worker already died in just the first half of the year due to a heart disease from work fatigue, stress and long exposure to chemicals resulted by working for up to 12-hours under a compressed work week scheme.

Workers in the electronic firm SMT Philippines Inc., where a long work hour scheme is being implemented, claimed that they are being forced to work from 6am to 6pm without overtime pay. This work arrangement has resulted in an overworked pregnant worker losing her baby due to work related illness and stress.

Forced extended work hours are also rampant in the Business Process Outsourcing Industry with workers being forced to work longer hours to take more calls resulting in serious illnesses like pneumonia, cancer, urinary tract infection, throat infections, insomnia and acid reflux.

“We call on our senators to junk the Senate Bill 1571. Enacting this anti-worker bill will only legalize the gross exploitation of our workers. It is enraging that instead of making policies that heeds workers’ demands for a national minimum wage and for ending contractualization, this government has been promoting slave labor and capitalists’ attacks against our wages, jobs and rights,” Ustarez said.

The KMU meanwhile vowed to hold bigger protests to oppose and foil the passage of the SB 1571 and all other forms of institutionalization of flexible work schemes that violates workers’ rights to 8-hour work.

“We will defend our right to 8-hour work at all costs. We will not allow the anti-worker Duterte government to further deny us this right that has been a result of the victory of centuries of life and death struggle of workers all over the world,” Ustarez said.Opposition vs ‘deadly’ compressed work week voiced out by workers

National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno today held a Metrowide protest and social media day to express workers’ opposition against the looming institutionalization of compressed work week schemes which they claim ‘kills’ workers.

In Pasay city, workers trooped the Senate building to call for the junking of the Senate Bill 1571 or the Compressed Work Week bill filed by Senator Joel Villanueva. They held a mass die-in protest to show how forced extended work hours kills workers.

“The Duterte administration wants to kill us by legalizing slave labor through compressed work week schemes. These flexible work arrangements that forces workers to work for 12-hours have already been implemented by big multinational corporations since the 90’s and has resulted in wage cuts, massive lay-offs, work related diseases and even workplace deaths,” Lito Ustarez, KMU vice chairperson for political and external affairs, said.

Local unions in export processing zones in Laguna also held lunchbreak protests to cite the effects of the implementation of extended work hour schemes in their workplaces.

In Nexperia (formerly NXP Semiconductors Inc.), one worker already died in just the first half of the year due to a heart disease from work fatigue, stress and long exposure to chemicals resulted by working for up to 12-hours under a compressed work week scheme.

Workers in the electronic firm SMT Philippines Inc., where a long work hour scheme is being implemented, claimed that they are being forced to work from 6am to 6pm without overtime pay. This work arrangement has resulted in an overworked pregnant worker losing her baby due to work related illness and stress.

Forced extended work hours are also rampant in the Business Process Outsourcing Industry with workers being forced to work longer hours to take more calls resulting in serious illnesses like pneumonia, cancer, urinary tract infection, throat infections, insomnia and acid reflux.

“We call on our senators to junk the Senate Bill 1571. Enacting this anti-worker bill will only legalize the gross exploitation of our workers. It is enraging that instead of making policies that heeds workers’ demands for a national minimum wage and for ending contractualization, this government has been promoting slave labor and capitalists’ attacks against our wages, jobs and rights,” Ustarez said.

The KMU meanwhile vowed to hold bigger protests to oppose and foil the passage of the SB 1571 and all other forms of institutionalization of flexible work schemes that violates workers’ rights to 8-hour work.

“We will defend our right to 8-hour work at all costs. We will not allow the anti-worker Duterte government to further deny us this right that has been a result of the victory of centuries of life and death struggle of workers all over the world,” Ustarez said.

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