Various groups have coalesced for the 2019 midterm elections and called for candidates to make pro-labor and pro-poor demands as electoral issues.
Members of the Teachers Dignity Coalition, Partido Lakas ng Masa, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino and Sanlakas partnered under the banner of the PLM party-list to join the election in 2019 and said everyday issues of the people should be tackled by the candidates.
Leody de Guzman, a PLM senatorial candidate, and BMP chairperson, said: “elections are believed to be one of the hallmarks of democracy.”
“But where is majority rule when we would choose between stalwarts of political dynasties that advance the interests of the affluent minority?” he asked.
He said the struggle of the labor movement must be a part of the electoral arena of every candidate.
Benjo Basas, PLM first nominee and TDC leader, said the day-to-day issues of the people must be taken up by those joining the 2019 polls, such as the high prices of commodities, regressive taxes, lack of budget for social services and monopoly rule of political dynasties.
“We propose these urgent demands that would address the immediate concerns of the workers and the poor, without harboring any illusion that the elite-run government will easily comply with the demands of the people,” De Guzman said.
Meanwhile, labor groups reiterated the call to President Rodrigo Duterte to abolish contractualization and the regional wage boards and reminded the Chief Executive of his campaign promise to stop all forms of contractualization.
The Partido ng Manggagawa, with allied groups Kilos Maralita, Umalab Ka, National Federation of Labor, Aguila (Association of General Unions, Institutions and Labor Associations and PUP student group made the call in rallies in Metro Manila to commemorate Bonifacio Day.
“If Gat Andres Bonifacio were alive today, he would no doubt be leading another revolution to defend workers against the onslaught of endo by greedy capitalists, the cheapening of wages by the regional wage boards and the loss of our sovereignty to both the US and China. To symbolize the fight, instead of ripping Spanish cedulas, Bonifacio would be tearing up the endo contracts and the wage orders,” Rene Magtubo, PM national chairman said.
The labor groups also called on Congress to pass the pending Security of Tenure bill that provides for strict regulation against contractualization and aims to make regular jobs the norm in employment relations.
They also demanded reform in the wage setting mechanism and a return to a national minimum wage instead of the present regional wages.
Magtubo said Duterte promised to abolish endo the moment he becomes president. In a dialogue with labor groups, he also said that ‘provincial rates’ must be eliminated.
“Three years into his term, these remain broken promises. Instead of focusing on people’s concerns like wages, jobs, and inflation, his administration aims to capture the Senate so it can railroad the shift to federalism through charter change even as it continues the bloody war on drugs and prepares to start a new, bloodier war against communist rebels,” he said.