Thursday, December 15, 2011
‘Grinch Who Stole Workers’ Christmas’ Workers Picket DOLE, Slam Contractualization Dep’t Order
Nine days before Christmas, and half a month after the Labor department announced a new department order on contractualization, workers led by labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno picketed the agency, condemning the policy for merely faking the regulation of contractualization instead of actually junking it.
Carrying pictures of Department of Labor and Employment Sec. Rosalinda Baldoz with the body of The Grinch, a fairy-tale character who stole Christmas, the workers said the department is stealing workers’ Christmas with its promotion of contractualization and pressing down of workers’ wages.
“Workers will be celebrating a hungrier and poorer Christmas because of low wages and rampant contractualization. Sec. Baldoz and Pres. Aquino have worked hard all year as Grinches, stealing Christmas from us workers and our families,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.
“Workers and poor people are hungrier and poorer now than we were last Christmas. This year witnessed the Aquino government’s non-stop attacks on labor and poor people in general,” he added.
Last November, Baldoz announced the approval of Department Order 2008-A Series of 2011, which she said seeks to “regulate” contractualization in the country by delineating “legitimate” contractors and sub-contractors from “illegitimate” ones and imposing requisites for being considered legitimate.
“Contrary to the DOLE’s propaganda, DO 2008-A Series of 2011 will not really stop contractualization and promote adherence to labor standards. It is a poor attempt to make contractualization palatable to workers and poor people while strengthening the legality of contractors and subcontractors,” he said.
KMU said the Aquino government this year further promoted contractualization with its ruling on the Philippine Airlines labor dispute and reduced workers’ real wage by granting a meager Cost of Living Allowance.
“Workers and poor people know that prices go up every Christmas season. This year, our capacity to buy even our families’ most basic needs has severely been eroded,” he added.
The labor center cited a research by independent think-tank Ibon Foundation showing that the current minimum wage in the National Capital Region is just 2/5 of the daily amount needed by a family to live decently, which currently stands at P988. In 2001, the said proportion was at 1/2. Roger Soluta, KMU Secretary-General