Labor Challenges Presidential Candidates to Adopt Labor Agenda

Major labor unions and federations want workers’ representatives to be appointed as undersecretary in key government agencies like the Labor, Trade, Housing, Transportation and Environment Departments to ensure transparency particularly in areas affecting the labor sector.

This is among the labor unities agreed upon by 26 labor groups and alliances to be presented to leading presidential candidates. Together, these groups represent at least 300,000 members nationwide. The said common labor agenda will be the highlight of their joint Labor Day celebration on May 1.

Frank Mero spokespersons of the labor alliance, said that workers’ issues should be among the top priorities of the new government. “It is high time for candidates to go beyond the rhetoric of poverty alleviation and give a more concrete program of action to ensure employment and decent work condition for the working class,” Mero emphasized.

Among the other demands for policy reforms are those that concern security of tenure and workers’ protection against corporate restructuring in the public and private sectors.  Likewise, the labor groups demand that “trade, monetary, fiscal and industrial policies are directed at quality job creation within the country so that working abroad will become a matter of choice rather than of necessity.”

In a joint declaration, the labor groups demand that the new government should give priority to workers’ rights and welfare – which includes demand for a full and impartial investigation of cases that violated trade union and human rights, as well as the enactment of executive measures to ensure that civil and political rights of workers are protected.

The joint declaration also includes social reforms such as full implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program- Extension with Reforms (Carper), the modification of the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 and a more equitable allocation of the IRA.

“We challenge all national candidates to adopt this labor agenda as their part of their platform which will serve as the basis for workers’ support to their candidacies,” Mero said.

The major labor centers endorsing the labor agenda are the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Pilipinas (KPMP), Lakas Manggaggawa Labor Center (LMLC) and Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (MAKABAYAN).

Major labor organization, federations and industry alliances also endorsed the agenda. They are the Philippine Metalworkers’ Alliance (PMA), Alliance of Coca-Cola Unions in the Philippines (ACCUP), Automotive Industry Workers’ Alliance (AIWA), Confederation of Independent Unions in the Public Sector (CIU), Fortune Tobacco Labor Union (FTLU), Kapisanan ng mga Manggagawa sa GFIs (KAMAGFI), Kapisanan ng mga Maralitang Obrero (KAMAO), League of Independent Bank Organizations (LIBO), Liga Mangagagawa, Nagkaisang Lakas ng mga Manggagawa (NLM), Metro East Labor Federation (MELF), National Alliance of Broadcast Unions (NABU), National Confederation of Transport Workers’ Unions (NCTU), National Federation of Labor (NFL), National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU), National Labor Union (NLU), National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE), National Union of Building and Construction Workers (NUBCW), National Union of Workers in Hotel Restaurants and Allied Industries (NUWHRAIN), Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA), Partido ng Mangagagawa (PM), Pinag-isang Tinig at Lakas ng Anak Pawis (PIGLAS), Postal Employees Union of the Philippines (PEUP), Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK), Solidarity of Unions for Empowerment and Reforms (SUPER FED), United Cavite Workers’ Association (UCWA) and Workers’ Solidarity Network (WSN).

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