’Tis the season for ‘endo’ jobs
MANILA, Philippines — It’s the season of the mother of all “endo” in the country as temporary workers are deployed to businesses to meet a surge in demand for goods and services, according to a labor group.
Endo refers to end of contract in which workers are let go before the sixth month so they won’t be regularized and paid higher wages and a host of benefits.
Between 1.5 million and 2 million contractual and seasonal workers are bid out around this time to beef up the mix of contractual and regular workforce of businesses, the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said on Sunday.
While it acknowledged that hiring of contractual, “pakyaw” and seasonal jobs is allowed under the law, the group said these workers must be directly hired by middlemen manpower agencies and accorded the mandated minimum wages and social protection benefits.
“In interviews conducted by ALU-TUCP with agency-hired workers, we notice that there is an upsurge trend for cheap skilled and unskilled seasonal, temporary and on-call workers in the labor market in time for Christmas and New Year,” said ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay.
Tanjusay said this was the best time for labor inspectors to inspect in all key establishments nationwide.
“To minimize this practice of labor slavery, we call on the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) to do surprise inspection … to stave off epidemic-scale contractualization,” he said in an interview.
Tanjusay said the surge in cheap labor and short-term seasonal work started last week, particularly in food manufacturing, agribusiness, department stores, hotels, restaurants, security, transport and logistics industries.
These workers are sent to department stores, restaurants and hotels as assistant sales clerks, sales clerks, promodizers, dishwashers, waiters, customer assistants, gift wrappers, packers, sorters and cleaners.
Other workers are deployed to warehouses as sorters and packers in Metro Manila, and Bulacan and Cavite provinces.
Others are hired as internal and external security personnel in hotels and department stores.
Still, others are assigned to work as drivers, motorcycle drivers, delivery men, transporters, packers and sorters in online retail and food buy-and-sell industries, Tanjusay said.
He noted that many licensed, registered and fly-by-night middlemen—called manpower service providers and agencies—were resorting to illegal contracting and subcontracting labor under the noses of Dole regional inspectors.
Women paid less
Tanjusay said that in Metro Manila, where demand for seasonal workers is highest, ALU-TUCP found that women workers, regardless of skill level, are paid less than men.
“Women seasonal workers are bid and bought for a P300 a day salary, while men are [offered] P400 a day in spite of the standard P537 daily minimum wage for Metro Manila,” he said.
The manpower agency or the middleman profits the most from selling labor contracts by “pakyaw,” or two to three months seasonal workers, as they put a 10-to-15-percent markup in contract price with the principal business owners, while getting a 20-to-25-percent cut in every workers’ daily wage, Tanjusay said.
He said that had President Duterte not vetoed the antiendo bill, tripartite industrial bodies would determine which job is regular and which is seasonal or contractual.
“Under existing implementing rules and regulation of the Labor Code provision on job contracting, employers and business owners solely determine which jobs are necessary and desirable for regular jobs and the temporary, short-term jobs,” he said.