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PM Statements and Position Papers

08-17-2010 A Legislative Agenda for Labor and the Poor PDF Print E-mail

Position Statement
August 17, 2010

A Legislative Agenda for Labor and the Poor

We appeal to Congress to make concrete the government’s declaration that democracy should work for all by drafting and legislating a set of pro-labor, pro-poor, pro-women and pro-people reforms.

First, reform the wage-fixing mechanism since the yawning disparity between the minimum wage and the cost of living is the clearest expression of a system failure. The national floor wage proposed by the National Wages and Productivity Board (NWPC) should be based on the cost of living of a working class family and indexed to inflation. The industry-based productivity schemes recommended by the NWPC should be drafted through industry-wide bargaining agreements. A National Wage Commission should replace the regional wage boards. The Wage Commission will have the mandate to fix wages based on the single criterion of cost of living instead of the present contradictory 10-point formula. The Wage Commission should equalize the floor wage to the level of the cost of living by a host of mechanisms among which are direct wage increases, tax exemptions, price discounts and social security subsidies for workers.

04-08-2010 Position Paper on the P75 Wage Petition PDF Print E-mail

Position Paper
April 8, 2010

Position Paper on the P75 Wage Petition

(Filipino version at the end)

The Partido ng Manggagawa supports the P75 wage petition filed by the TUCP. Its basis is rock solid. Inflation has truly eroded the purchasing power of workers in the almost two years since the last wage order in June 2008. And price hikes in the coming months should indeed be factored into any computation of the wage increase.

From the point of views of workers, a P75 wage hike is both appropriate and just. But a salary increase will always be rejected as inimical to the economy on grounds that it will lead to a spiral in prices, the bankruptcy of companies and a host of other horror stories.

But such is only so much black propaganda and blackmail. Why should we be afraid of additional money circulating in the economy due to a wage hike when billions of dollars in remittances entering the country is always applauded? If the stronger purchasing power of OFW families is a positive factor in the economy then should not the same thing hold for more money in the hands of workers which we will use to buy the necessities of life? A wage hike will be good for the workers and will also be beneficial to the economy because it will spur the production of more goods and provision of more services.

We seek to emphasize, the labor movement stands as one body and speaks with one voice in favor of a wage hike. The differences arise only because of the nagging question—will the NCR wage board approve of the P75 wage petition?

02-23-2010 Appeal for Solidarity for the Alta Mode Workers Struggle PDF Print E-mail

Appeal for Solidarity
February 23, 2010

Appeal for Solidarity for the Alta Mode Workers Struggle

The embattled workers of Alta Mode Inc., a garments factory in the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) II and subcontractor for global brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, are appealing for support and solidarity from fellow workers, the broad public and even concerned candidates running in the elections.

Since February 15, 2010, they have protested outside the main gates of the MEZ II, one of the biggest export zones in the Philippines, after they were refused entry and not allowed to go to work. The following day, they set up camp at the MEZ gates in order to oblige the Alta Mode management to dialogue with the union. But the very next day, security guards of Acoland, lessor of the MEZ II, tried unsuccessfully to force them out of the export zone that is built on privately-owned land.

AMWU is demanding that they return to work and for management to establish to the workers the alleged financial losses of the company. The workers though have proof through Alta Mode’s own financial statements for years 2007 to 2008 that management’s claims of monetary losses are lies. AMWU accuses the company of closing the factory in order to bust the union.

This is the reason management adamantly refuses to hold a dialogue with the workers about the supposed losses. All the workers have received was a written notice about the closure. Since the picket line was set up, no one from Alta Mode management has faced the workers. Management even boycotted the mediation hearings called by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

12-30-2009 The Situation and Struggle of Workers in 2009 PDF Print E-mail

Yearend Statement
December 30, 2009

Refusing to Pay the Price of a Crisis Not of Their Own Making
The Situation and Struggle of Workers in 2009

The global economic crisis has brought the Philippine economy to the brink of recession. At the onset of the global crisis late last year, the government of Gloria Arroyo initially took the stance that the local economy will be insulated. But despite being in denial and whistling in the dark, the signs are clear of an economy teetering in recession.

There are historic declines in manufacturing and trade. The seasonally adjusted agriculture, fishery and forestry sector contracted by 1.0 percent in the first quarter of 2009 after expanding by 0.9 per cent in the last quarter of 2008. Industry registered its lowest growth for the last twenty years as it sank by 6.6 percent from a 0.1 percent gain in the last quarter.

Even the services sector posted no growth for the first quarter of 2009 compared to 0.2 percent recorded the previous quarter. Investments in fixed capital formation in the first quarter of 2009 plunged to negative 5.7 percent from a growth of 3.0 percent in the same period last year. Investments in durable equipment dropped to negative 17.9 percent from a growth of 9.6 percent a year ago. Total exports dived deeper to negative 18.2 percent from negative 7.7 percent last year. Total imports valued at P530.9 billion pesos at current prices exceeded total exports valued at P528.6 billion pesos, resulting in a trade deficit of P2.3 billion pesos.

08-07-2009 GMA must heed the people’s pulse and drop con-ass PDF Print E-mail

Press Statement
August 7, 2009
Renato Magtubo
PM Chairperson

GMA must heed the people’s pulse and drop con-ass, term extension

The massive crowd that joined former President Cory Aquino’s funeral was not simply expressing grief but conveying support for her fight against dictatorship as shown by the sea of people flashing the laban sign. The laban sign was formerly a symbol of the struggle against the fascist Marcos, it has now assumed a meaning as a fight against the threat of a new tyranny. Gloria Arroyo’s spokespersons are denying that the Palace is threatened but for the first time since Edsa Tres, the regime has reason to be afraid of the spontaneous masses.

Gloria Arroyo should read the sign of the times and heed the pulse of the people. It is time for her to order a stop to con-ass and declare that she will not extend her term. She still has two weeks to do so until the anniversary of Ninoy’s assassination on August 21 that may be the next spontaneous expression of the people’s outrage.

It will not be too late for Gloria Arroyo to pay true respects to Cory Aquino by announcing that she is not seeking to remain in power, what could have been the most important part of her SONA speech that she did not say and merely glossed over by stating the fact that her term ends in 2010.

06-22-2009 Appeal for Solidarity for Paul Yu Workers Struggle PDF Print E-mail

Appeal For Solidarity
June 22, 2009

Appeal for Solidarity for Paul Yu Workers Struggle

The workers of Paul-Yu Phils. Corp., a factory in Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) II in Lapu-Lapu City producing lamp shades for the export and local market, have been on a week of work stoppage in support of seven suspended leaders of their workers association. The five days of work stoppage has partially paralyzed the operations of the company as around 400 workers have participated while only a hundred workers were left working.

The suspension of seven leaders of the Paul Yu workers are in retaliation for the protest action last May 8 and the filing of a case last May 21 against management’s numerous unfair labor practices. The preventive suspension on the seven was slapped by management supposedly for an “illegal strike” conducted last May 8.

Paul Yu management is turning the tables on the workers for it is the company that is guilty of illegal acts and unfair labor practice which is spelled out in the case the workers filed last May 21 at the Labor Department. Among these infractions is the three-day workweek implemented since December that lacks proper documentation and due notice with the Labor Department. Moreover, management is reducing the workdays for regular workers even as it continues to outsource 40% of its production to contractors.

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