New ‘endo’ rules on hold pending more talks with traders, workers
The 200,000-strong Federation of Free Workers (FFW) welcomed the pronouncement of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to subject the draft order of the Department of Labor and Employment on contractualization to the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC)’s deliberations.
Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say admitted on Thursday that Bello had not signed the department order (DO) putting restrictions on businesses in resorting to job contracts or contractualization.
Job for which workers are hired for six months to a year have become popularly called “endo,” a shortcut of “end of contracts,” which have deprived many workers of having stable jobs with security of tenures, a full package of benefits accorded to regular workers under labor laws and retirement benefits.
“The original plan was to sign the DO last December 28. Initially that was the target,” Say said. “If there were no ramblings in the ground level, otherwise, that would have already been signed. But this time we noticed there were ramblings in the management side so we gave them the opportunity. Then we heard there were ramblings in the labor groups side. That is part of the democratic practice. The Secretary will not sign it unless everyone is given the opportunity to be heard.”
“There is no DO yet on contracting out of work,” lawyer Jose Sonny Matula, FFW president, said in a statement. “There will be discussions in the tripartite council where workers, employers and the government are represented, according to Bello in a dialogue with labor groups this afteroon,”
Matula said the draft DO, although an improvement of the existing DO18-A , was opposed by labor groups including FFW, a member of the labor coalition Nagkaisa, as it was “not sufficient to confront the evils of contractualization.”
“Secretary Bello said that he is willing to listen to the workers’ comments to craft a fresh DO,” Nagkaisa said. “He directed all his undersecretaries to come out with separate drafts and that this would then be consolidated by the DOLE to a version on January 13, which will be referred to the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council. This will be subjected to Tripartite consultations and will be issued as DO 1, series of 2017 when approved.”
The group also formally requested Bello to set up an audience with President Rodrigo Duterte so that workers would be able to appeal for passage of an executive order which would serve as a stop-gap measure to proscribe contractualization until a new law amending the Labor Code could be passed. SFM
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