KMU readies protest actions vs compressed work week bill
Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) is readying bigger protest actions to oppose and foil the passage of a compressed work week bill and other flexible work schemes that violate workers’ rights.
“We will defend our right to eight-hour work at all costs,” said Lito Ustarez, KMU vice chair for political and external affairs.
The group began with a “mass die-in” at the Senate on Monday to show how compressed work week schemes “kill” workers.
KMU members demanded that senators junk Senate Bill 1571, or the Compressed Work Week bill, filed by Sen. Joel Villanueva.
“The Duterte administration wants to kill us by legalizing slave labor through compressed work week schemes,” Ustarez said.
“These flexible work arrangements that forces workers to work for 12-hours have already been implemented by big multinational corporations since the ‘90s and has resulted in wage cuts, massive lay-offs, work related diseases and even workplace deaths,” he added.
According to KMU, forced extended work hours are rampant in various industries with workers being forced to work longer hours resulting in serious illnesses, like pneumonia, cancer, urinary tract infection, throat infections, insomnia and acid reflux.
“We call on our senators to junk Senate Bill 1571. Enacting this anti-worker bill will only legalize the gross exploitation of our workers,” Ustarez said.
“Instead of making policies that heed workers’ demands for a national minimum wage and an end to contractualization, this government has been promoting slave labor and capitalists’ attacks against our wages, jobs and rights,” he added.
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