Message of Solidarity for the World Day for Decent Work
By Kilusang Mayo Uno
(photos of mass action after the article)
The Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement) labor center expresses its warmest solidarity with all workers, trade unions and labor advocates around the world who are commemorating the World Day for Decent Work.
In the recent protest action which we conducted with different labor institutions to mark this special day, we expressed our unity with the workers and peoples of the world who are struggling for decent work.
Especially amidst the worsening global financial and economic crisis, the workers and peoples of the world are challenged to intensify our struggle for decent work and for a society that will make it possible.
We need to keep struggling against governments which are complying with the demands of greedy big capitalists. They implement neoliberal policies being dictated by monopoly capitalists, financial oligarchs and local ruling classes.
The World Day for Decent Work’s special theme this year which calls for a bright future for young people is very important for the Filipino workers and trade-union movement. Many young people in the Philippines are also trapped in poverty due to the government’s labor policies which are crafted to suit the interests of big foreign and local capitalists.
More than 30 years of neoliberal policies all over the world have created a generation of young workers who are suffering from insecure, highly exploitative and dangerous work. A production system that depends on foreign investments and exists to boost superprofits is a fertile ground for trade-union and human rights violations.
The Filipino workers and people are being deprived of decent work by the government of Pres. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III, which is implementing a Cheap Labor Policy that ensures big profits for big foreign and local capitalists by offering cheap and repressed labor. Under his term, the repression of workers and unions in the Philippines goes as far as killing labor activists and labor leaders and terrorizing workplaces and workers’ communities with militarization.
President Noynoy Aquino’s newest policy called the Two-Tiered Wage System (2TWS) is one of the biggest attacks on workers since the Wage Rationalization Law, which was ratified in 1989 under his mother, former President Cory Aquino. The WRL abolished the national minimum wage and relegated the task of setting minimum wages to regional wage boards.
The 2TWS, implemented nationwide this year, is meant to press down the wages of Filipino workers, already one of the lowest in the world. In all regions in the country except Metro Manila, the 2TWS will cut the minimum wage by 30% or more. Not only will it result in wage cuts, but also in increased workload for workers, massive lay-offs and contractualization. It also arms capitalists with weapons to refuse increasing workers’ wages during negotiations for a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Aside from the 2TWS, the Filipino workers and people condemn Pres. Aquino and the Department of Labor and Employment for their grave crimes: contractualization, refusal of a significant wage hike, violations of workers’ occupational health and safety, “no union, no strike” policy, trade-union repression, unemployment and lay-offs.
We vow to heighten our struggle against all these, and to unite with the workers of different countries in fighting for decent work.
Photos from Kilusang Mayo Uno