Labor group dismayed with ‘win-win solution,’ demands decisive action

Frustrated at the Labor department’s continued non-fulfillment of President Rodrigo Duterte‘s marching orders to abolish all forms of contractualization, socialist labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) has taken their advocacy to the footsteps of the president himself.

The group recently sent the Office of the President a letter, signed by labor leader Leody de Guzman, attached with a draft of an Executive Order ordering the abolition of all forms of contractual employment, among others.

In the letter to the president, it read “contractualization is an urgent national policy concern because it economically and socially destroys the lives of millions of our people—not only of our national labor force.”

It added that “due to its nationally-destructive outcome, contractualization is as criminal an enterprise as terrorism and the illegal drugs trade are at the present time.”

The group asked the President to “strongly consider the signing of this EO into law at the soonest time possible” to reflect his government’s “principled commitment to the stopping contractualization in all its forms.”

Pronouncements and proposals by secretaries Silvestre Bello and Ramon Lopez of the labor and trade departments respectively have not sat well with labor groups in the recently concluded consultative meetings it held. BMP along with other labor groups says that the ‘win-win solution’ is a misnomer and there can be no compromise with their demands.

“Our economic well-being as well as our dignity as the country’s ‘primary social economic force’ has been violated for decades now and yet the so-called ‘managers of the economy’ worry more about the projected decline in profits of employers,” said De Guzman.

“Any delays, flip-flopping statements and continued overconsideration for employers are new abrasions to labor’s dignity on top of the already heavily exploitative nature of capitalist-worker relations.”

The draft EO included the implementation and full protection of labor rights and standards as mandated by the 1987 Constitution, the strict prohibition of all forms of contractualization in the public and private sectors, the order to the Secretary of Justice to prosecute of violators and the regularization of all employees through direct-hiring.

The letter also included a recommendation for the president to schedule a meeting and dialogue with a broad delegation of labor groups to discuss labor policy-related issues and concerns at the soonest possible time. “This he owes to those who elected him into office,” De Guzman claimed

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