KMU: 100,000 workers gearing up for mass protests on Labor Day
MANILA, Philippines — At least 100,000 workers from different labor groups are expected to join nationwide mass protests on Wednesday, Labor Day, according to Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).
“Big cities in the regions will have their mobilizations, demanding the same issues that we do have in Metro Manila,” KMU chair Elmer Labog said in a press briefing in Quezon City on Monday.
“We expect mobilizations in Cebu, in Davao City, even if they are under martial law; Baguio City, big regions in Bicol Region,” Labog added.
“(There will be protests also) in the Visayas tulad ng Bacolod na matindi ang kontraktwalisasyon. Ine-expect namin na dadagsa ang manggagawang Pilipino. Hindi sila kontento sa kanilang kasalukuyang buhay,” he added.
“Sa KMU group lamang, 30,000 Metro Manila lang ‘yan. Nationwide mga 100,000 or more,” Labog noted.
Meanwhile, programs in Metro Manila — where a broader alliance of labor groups is expected to attend — will be divided into two parts. One would be held at the Mendiola Peace Arch in San Miguel, Manila, and at the Liwasang Bonifacio near the Manila City Hall.
“Ang una ‘yung basic issues. Yung pangalawa, ‘yung challenge sa mga senatoriable. ‘Yung una sa Mendiola. Doon namin susunugin ‘yong effigy ni (President Rodrigo) Duterte,” he added.
According to Labog, protests will center on Duterte’s failed promise to stop ‘endo’ or the practice of contracting workers, calls for a P750 per day national minimum wage, and the issue of allowing Chinese intervention in terms of territorial dispute and labor issues.
“Yung contractualization talaga isa sa matinding bumabagabag sa aming mga manggagawa. ‘Yung tumitinding pag-atake sa aming paglaban sa additional wages and benefits, at ‘yung pag-assert namin sa aming right to organize and collective bargaining,” he explained.
“Siyempre ‘yung sovereignty question. Papaano tayo uunlad bilang isang bansa kung ‘yung usapin ng independencia at soberanya ay hindi maipaglaban ni Mr. Duterte?” he asked.
Before Duterte was elected into office, part of his campaign promise was to end contractualization, which he claimed will kill the Filipinos’ skill. After winning the presidency, he also vowed to stop ‘endo,’ even threatening to kill business owners engaged in such practice.
On Labor Day 2018, Duterte signed an Executive Order which prohibits illegal contracting and subcontracting but allows some forms of contractualization, including seasonal or project-based jobs. /cbb
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.