Hundreds of rank and file workers from the PNCC Skyway today picketed the company’s head office to denounce plans to retrench employees in line with the scheduled take over of Citra Metro Tollways Corp of the Skyway operations.
“This is plain and simple union-busting,” said PSC Employees Union President Apollo Ado, “the government wants all obstacles to Citra’s takeover eliminated so the private consortium can squeeze out the most profit from the Skyway operations.”
“The Toll Regulatory Board, PNCC management, Citra and Malacañang should be taken to account for this sell-out of the Filipino workers’ interests yet again,” Ado explained. “We have presented alternatives to retrenchment, but none of them seem interested in protecting our rights.”
“Citra will have us retrenched because they know a unionized rank and file will always be there to defend not only the rights and welfare of the workers but also of the general public,” added Ado.
The transfer of operations from Skyway Corp to Citra will effectively put Skyway operations at the behest of a profit-driven private company allergic to organized workers. The absence of a unionized workforce will allow Citra to earn all the bucks it can from the Skyway, but leave the workers without benefits and devoid of security of tenure.
“The threat of toll fee increases therefore becomes a very distinct possibility,” said Ado. “The transfer of operations will be an abdication of government function in the Skyway operations, and it has the marking of anti-labor moves all over it.”
“The threat of displacement at the Skyway Corporation again demonstrates the futility of privatization as an economic policy,” added Ado.
PSCEU is an affiliate of Workers’ Solidarity Network (WSN), which in turn is affiliated to the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL).