Workers are set to pour out into the streets of Manila tomorrow, October 27, to denounce the biggest fraud being concocted by governments against migrant workers rights – the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).
At least 10,000 workers, including 200 representatives of Global Unions from around the world, are expected to march from Liwasan Bonifacio to the PICC where they intend to deliver the labor movements’ position on migration, development and human rights.
The Solidarity Action of Labor against GFMD or SALAG will lead the rally.
Leaders of SALAG questioned the existence of the GFMD process. Apart from developing international instruments enforceable by the labor movement, the workers believe that all that is needed is for governments to ratify and implement the ILO core conventions and the UN conventions on human rights and development.
The GFMD has no right to talk about migration, development and human rights when migrant workers themselves are not present in this forum.
According to SALAG leaders, the GFMD is a forum meant to legitimize a remittance-driven development strategy. This is a flawed strategy has not redounded to national development and instead has resulted in grave social costs and has led to massive “brain drain” and even “brain waste”. As a means of job generation, it has become a sorry excuse for government to abandon the goals of full employment and local industrialization.
With the clear and present danger of the financial meltdown and economic recession in the US going global, the weakness of labor export strategy is further exposed as the rights and welfare of the migrant workers of the world are imperiled once more.
SALAG reiterates that workers are not commodities that are to be traded but human beings with fundamental rights! Thus instead of labor export policy, governments should promote full employment through sustainable development.
The rally organizers promised that tomorrow’s march will be festive.
SALAG is a broad labor formation in the Philippines created to respond to issues on migration and development. SALAG includes the Labor Alliance for Better Order and Reform (LABOR), the different Philippine public sector unions affiliated with the Public Services International, and the Solidarity of Union and Labor Organization for New Government (SULONG).
Member Organizations of SALAG
Labor Alliance for Better Order and Reform (LABOR)
· Partido ng Manggagawa
· National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE)
Public Services International Affiliates in the Philippines
· Alliance of Filipino Workers (AFW)
· Alliance of Government Workers in the Water Sector (AGWWAS)
· Confederation of Independent Unions in the Public Sector (CIU)
· Manila Water Employees’ Union (MWEU)
· Maynilad Water Supervisors’ Association (MWSA)
· NAPOCOR Employees Consolidated Union (NECU)
· Philippine Government Employees Association (PGEA)
· Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK)
Solidarity of Union and Labor Organization for New Government (SULONG)
· Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)
· Association of Genuine Labor Organizations (AGLO)
· Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
· Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Pilipinas (KPMP)
· Liga ng Manggagawa
· Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (MAKABAYAN)