International Workers Day 2014:
Junk EDCA! P125 Wage Hike Now!

 

■   Manila    ■   Southern Tagalog    ■   Bicol   ■   Central Luzon

 ■   Davao City   ■   Tacloban

■   Hong Kong, Austria and The Netherlands

 

May 1, 2014

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Photos by Bulatlat, Manolito Catacutan, Agapito Gaddi,  Liyab Multimedia, Sarah Raymundo,
Emerson Redor, Judy Taguiwalo, Isabelli Tierra, Tudla Production and UMA Pilipinas
 
           
     
     
     

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Our Labor Day demands: Junk EDCA! P125 Wage Hike Now!
01-May-2014

We mark this year’s Labor Day by protesting Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s recent approval of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and his more aggressive implementation of the Cheap Labor Policy. He continues to show that the US government and big foreign and local capitalists are his true bosses, not the Filipino workers and people.

The disclosure of the EDCA’s content after it was signed by the US and the Philippines is igniting public anger at this agreement and Aquino. The EDCA is one-sided, violates the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and increases the burden borne by the Filipino workers and people. It signals the US re-occupation of the Philippines, and will go hand-in-hand with Aquino’s Charter Change scheme. We are calling on all patriotic workers and Filipinos to unite and fight for the immediate junking of this agreement.

Aquino has consistently defended the meager wage adjustments approved by the regional wage boards and has attacked workers’ call for a significant wage hike, such as the P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide that we have been clamoring for. Worse, he has attacked the minimum wage. First, by implementing the Two-Tiered Wage System which relates minimum wage levels not with a living wage but with the government’s adjusted poverty threshold. And second, by pushing for an “option” for workers to not receive the minimum wage, in the guise of championing job generation.

We continue to call for measures that will increase wages and wage levels in the country. Now more than ever, workers need a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide because the minimum wage has been lagging behind price hikes for the past years. The Two-Tiered Wage System must be junked, as well as proposals to legalize violations of the minimum wage. We are calling for an end to contractualization, which has been one of the most brutal and widespread means by which wages have been pressed down.

We are calling on the Filipino workers and people to resist and defeat Aquino and his anti-worker and anti-people policies. As shown by our opposition to the big-time power rate hike sought by Meralco, it is only through our protests that we stand the chance of preventing Aquino’s anti-worker and anti-people policies from being implemented. Aquino deserves the growing anger and protests directed at his government. His anti-corruption rhetoric is only a ruse for implementing policies that favor the US government, big foreign and local capitalists and harm workers and the Filipino people.

Reference Person: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson
Contact information: 0908-1636597

 

           

MAYO'Y DI BUWAN NG MGA BULAKLAK

di buwan ng mga bulaklak ang mayo
o prusisyon ng malanding reyna elena
di rin ito panahon ng marangyang pista
para sa kung sinu-sinong santo't santa
buwan ito ng pagtitigis ng dugo
ng mga crisanto evangelista
ng partido obrerong marxista
paghihimagsik ito ng mga crispin beltran
ng maalab na kilusang mayo uno
oo, pagbaha ito ng pulang mga bandila
ng inaaliping uring manggagawa
ito'y pagdagundong ng libu-libong mga paa
sa umaalong kalsada ng mendiola
ito'y pag-ilanlang sa hangin
ng sumisingasing na "internationale"
ito'y buwang dinamitang sasambulat
himagsik ng nakatikom na mga kamao
ilululan sa nilalagnat na hangin
natipong ngitngit ng mga ama
umalagwang hagulhol ng mga ina
daing ng napilipit na mga bituka
ngunit marinig kaya ng mga panginoon ng dusa
dalamhati ng lahi at uring dinusta?

oo, mayo'y di buwan ng mga bulaklak
deka-dekada nang pagdidilig ito ng luha
sa matimyas na hangaring manariwa
binansot-naluoy na mga pag-asa
ito'y buwan ng di matapos na pakikibaka
laban sa uring mapagsamantala
at mga basalyos ng inhustisya
ito'y pagpapatibay ng hanay
para sa pusikit na gabi ng paglalamay
ito'y pagkakawit-bisig
ng uring busabos at dayukdok
hanggang tahakin ang bundok
at isumbong sa mga punglo
tagulaylay ng utak na kumukulo
dignidad ng uri'y gagawing palaso
itutudla sa balighong puso
ng mga diyus-diyosang walang niyayakap
kundi bundat na baul ng pilak
at ni ayaw dinggin ang tibok ng puso
ng uring dinusta't nilamon ang laman
nilagok ang dugo't nginasab ang tiyan.

oo, di nga buwan
ng mga bulaklak ang mayo
ito'y pagsalunga
sa madugong kalbaryo
at sa ati'y "wala nang mawawala kundi tanikala!"

------
Rogelio L. Ordonez
plumaatpapel
Mayo 1, 2012


NOT THE MONTH OF FLOWERS IS MAY

not the month of flowers is may
or the procession of flirting queens
it's not also the month of lavish fiestas
in honor of so many venerated saints
instead it's the blood shedding
of the likes of crisanto evangelista
of the marxist labor party
it's the revolt of the crispin beltrans
of the fiery may 1 movement
yes, it's the unfurling of red flags
by the exploited working class
it's the rumbling of thousands of feet
on the heaving street of mendiola
it's the reverberation in the air
of the liberating message of the "internationale"
it's the month the anger of clenched fists
would loudly explode like dynamites
and the feverish wind would carry on its wings
the collective hatred of so many fathers
the lamentations of so many mothers
and the cries of twisted intestines
but could the lords of sorrows hear
the grief of an oppressed race?

yes, may is not the month of flowers
it's the decades of may of falling tears
sprinkling the yellowish grass
so the stunted growth of fervent hopes
may finally grow and bloom
it's the month of continuing struggle
against the exploitative class
and the cohorts of injustices
it's the month of strengthening the united front
for the coming dark nights of vigil
it's the tight linking of arms
of the oppressed-downtrodden class
till they trek the mountain trails
and whisper to the hissing bullets
the moans of seething brains
and transform into piercing arrows
the class dignity of a race
and aim and shoot them deep
to the hearts of greedy demigods
who always embrace the vault of wealth
and see nothing but the glitter of gold
never hearing the pulsating bleeding hearts
of the long oppressed wretched class.

yes, not the month of flowers is may
it's our climbing up
the bloody mountain trails
and "we have nothing to lose but our chains!"

-------
Rogelio L. Ordonez
plumaatpapel
Mayo 1, 2012
 

           
     
     
     

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MENSAHE SA ARAW NG PAGGAWA 2014
nina Benito Tiamzon at Wilma Austria
PNP Custodial Center, Camp Crame

Kami ay malugod na nakikiisa sa lahat ng manggagawa at anak-pawis na Pilipino sa araw na ito ng pista ng uring manggagawa sa buong daigdig. Sumasaludo kami sa inyong magiting na pakikibaka laban sa imperyalista at lokal na reaksyunaryong paghahari, pambubusabos at pang-aapi.

Sa dakilang araw na ito ay dapat din nating gunitain at parangalan ang mga bayani at martir ng kilusang manggagawa. Dapat patuloy na hanguan ng inspirasyon at aral ang buhay at pakikibaka nina Ka Bert Olalia, Ka Lando Olalia, Ka Crispin Beltran at ng napakaraming kapuri-puring lider at mandirigma ng paggawa na ibinigay ang kanilang lakas at buhay para sa kalayaan ng uri at bayan. Ang kanilang mga sakripisyo at paglaban ang tinutuntungan ng anumang lakas natin ngayon.

Sa nakaraang mahigit 3 dekada, ang kilusang manggagawa sa pamumuno ng KMU ay nagpursigi sa pagbubuo, pagpapalawak at pagpapalakas ng militanteng unyonismong nagtatanggol sa araw-araw na kapakanang pang-ekonomiya at mga demokratikong karapatang pang-unyon ng mga manggagawa, ipinaglaban nito ang makatwirang sahod, katiyakan sa empleyo at pamumuhay laban sa walang-tigil na pag-atake – tuwiran at di-tuwiran, sa pamamaraang legal at ilegal, marahas at hindi – ng kapital na dayuhan at lokal, sa tulong ng reaksyunaryong estado at mga alagad nito. Ang mga tagumpay at pakinabang sa labang ito ay parsyal at pansamantala lamang gaya ng anumang tagumpay at pakinabang ng mga manggagawa hangga’t namamayani ang kapital. Gayunpaman, sa pamamagitan ng labang ito, nabuo ang militanteng pagkakaisa at lakas ng kilusang unyon, ito ang tagumpay na pinakaimportante sa lahat, na siyang tunay na sandigan ng mga manggagawa sa matagalang pakikihamok sa kapital, laluna sa naghaharing lokal na malaking burgesyang kumprador at monopolyong burgesyang dayuhan.

Mula’t sapul ang militanteng kilusang unyon ay hindi maihihiwalay na bahagi ng malawak na kilusang bayan laban sa imperyalismo, pyudalismo at pasismo. Ito ay iniluwal, lumawak at naging mahalagang pwersa sa pulitika at lipunan sa pakikibaka para labanan at ibagsak ang pasistang diktadurang US-Marcos. Ang palagiang oryentasyon nito ay abutin, pukawin, organisahin at pakilusin ang kabuuan ng masa ng uri para sa araw-araw na pakikibakang unyon, gayundin sa pampulitikang pakikibaka laban sa paghahari ng imperyalismong US at mga lokal na reaksyunaryo para makamit ang lubos na pambansang kalayaan at tunay na demokrasya. Mulat ito sa mga istorikong ugat nito sa lumang-tipong demokratikong rebolusyon nina Andres Bonifacio at sa bagong-tipong demokratikong rebolusyong inumpisahan ng lumang pinagsanib na Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas. Nasasapol nito kung bakit para patuloy na maisulong at maipagtagumpay ang mga mithiin ng uring manggagawa ay dapat itong mag-ukol ng pinakamataas na pagpapahalaga sa mahigpit na pakikipagtulungan sa antipyudal na kilusan at pakikibakang magsasaka sa kanayunan. Alam din nito kung bakit kailangang magmartsa ito nang nakakapit-bisig sa pinakamalapad na nagkakaisang hanay na kabilang ang iba pang progresibo at demokratikong uri at saray ng lipunan. Batid nito ang istorikong misyon ng uring manggagawa na pawiin sa kalaunan ang mga uri sa lipunan at wakasan ang pagsasamantala ng tao sa tao. Ang kabuuang pananaw nito ay anti-imperyalista, sosyalista, rebolusyonaryo at siyentipiko. Itinataguyod nito ang panawagang “Manggagawa ng buong daigdig, Magkaisa!”

Ngayon ang manggagawa at mamamayang Pilipino ay nahaharap sa lalo pang pinaiigting na opensibang antinasyunal, antimasa at antidemokratiko ng imperyalismong US at papet na rehimeng Aquino. Ang opensibang ito ay nakapaloob sa “Free Trade Chacha” na niluluto ng kongreso at karugtong ng Trans-Pacific Partnership ng US, ang higanteng free trade area na itinutulak ng US sa Asia-Pasipiko, at sa Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement ng US at Pilipinas na kunektado sa pivot/rebalancing sa Asia ng imperyalismong US.

Ang chacha ay naglalayong alisin ang natitirang legal na balakid sa storm surge ng denasyunalisasyon, pagkamkam sa mga lupain, kagubatan at katubigan para sa pagmimina, pagtotroso, plantasyon, proyektong turismo at proyektong real estate; at sa todong pagpiga sa lakas paggawa ng bansa. Ang panibagong pagsagasang ito ng imperyalistang globalisasyon ay itinutulak din ng free trade area ng ASEAN (ASEAN Economic Community) at Trans-Pacific Partnership na nasa dominasyon ng US at Japan.

Ibayong patitindihin ng mga ito ang mga hambalos ng imperyalistang globalisasyon na inumpisahang malawakang ipatupad ni Corazon Aquino. Kabilang sa mga tampok na epekto nito ang:


Todong presyur pababa at todong pagpiga sa dati nang binabarat na lakas paggawa. Ibayong pag-atake sa sahod, seguridad sa trabaho at mga benepisyo.

Mas masahol na pagwasak sa kapaligiran alang-alang sa tubo.

Mas masahol na pangangamkam at pagkakait sa mga magsasaka at pambansang minorya.

Tahasang dayuhang pag-aari at pagkontrol sa mga negosyo, lupain, public utilities, mass media at iba pang serbisyo.

Ang Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) ay tahasang pagbaligtad sa desisyong patalsikin ang mga baseng militar ng US at tahasang paglapastangan sa soberanya ng bansa. Ibinubukas nito ang mga kampo ng AFP at teritoryo ng bansa sa ibayong pinalawak na pagpasok, pagtigil at operasyon ng mga pwersang militar ng US kabilang ang pagtatayo ng mga permanenteng pasilidad militar para sa command, control, computer at komunikasyon; pag-iimbak ng mga kagamitang militar; pagsusuplay at iba pang operasyon. Ibinubukas nito ang bansa sa mga tropa, barkong pandigma at eroplanong pandigma ng US para sa pagmamaniobra at maging pag-atake sa Tsina, iba pang karibal na kapangyarihan at mga anti-imperyalistang gobyerno at pwersa sa Asia.

Higit sa anupaman, ang EDCA ay nagsisilbi sa rebalancing ng US tungong Asia para sa pinaigting na pakikipagribalan sa Tsina na itinuturing na nangungunang potensyal na kaagaw ng US sa dominasyon sa Asia at daigdig.

May katwiran ang Pilipinas sa claim sa bahagi ng South China Sea laban sa China. Pero ang alitang ito ay ginagamit para pasidhiin ang pagtatambol sa media hindi ng patriyotismo kundi ng papet na mentalidad at patakarang pro-US. Sinasangkalan ng papet na rehimeng Aquino ang alitan para bigyang-matwid ang EDCA at laong sumiksik sa palda ng imperyalismong US. Hungkag ang posturang pagtatanggol sa teritoryo ng bansa laban sa China kung kaakibat naman nito ang mas masahol na pagpapagahasa sa US ng teritoryal na integridad ng bansa lalo pa’t sinasabing may imbitasyon ang paggahasa.

Sa kabuuan ang Free Trade Chaha at Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement ay panibagong pananakop ng imperyalismong US. Nagsisilbi ito sa pagsisikap ng imperyalismong US na makaalpas sa matagal na krisis ng pandaigdigang kapitalismo at ipasa sa mga atrasado at mahinang bansa gaya ng Pilipinas ang mga pasanin sa krisis. Nagtataguyod din ang mga ito sa pagpapanatili ng unipolar na dominasyon ng US laban sa mga karibal at laban sa mga bansa at sambayanang naghahangad lumaya. Pinapatunayan din ng mga ito ang lubos na pagka-papet ng rehimeng Aquino.

Kakabit ng mas pinatitinding paghuthot at pananakop ang pagpapatindi sa kontrarebolusyon at pasismo. Pinatitindi ang militarisasyon at mga opensibang militar laban sa rebolusyonaryong kilusan. Patuloy na pinaparalisa ang peace talks ng NDFP at GPH at nagkukumahog sa pagdurog o pasipikasyon sa rebolusyon sa pamamagitan ng pwersang militar, sa pagbira sa armadong rebolusyon sadyang hinahagip at idinadamay ang mga progresibong organisasyon at lider at mga demokratikong organisasyon ng masang manggagawa, magsasaka, mga pambansang minorya at iba pang inaaping uri at sektor. Patuloy na malaganap ang targeted na asasinasyon ng mga lider at aktibistang masa, mga iligal na pag-aaresto, pagsasampa ng mga gawa-gawang kasong kriminal, panggigipit, pananakot at iba pang paglabag sa mga demokratikong karapatan.

Dapat ubos-kayang ilantad at labanan ang pinaiigting na opensiba ng imperyalismo at papet na rehimeng Aquino. Kailangang palawakin at patindihin ang mga pang-unyon at pampulitikang pakikibaka ng mga manggagawa para ipagtanggol ang mga kapakanan at karapatang demokratiko at bakahin ang mga pag-atakeng antinasyunal at antimasa. Dapat lutasin ang mga sagka at bara sa pag-oorganisa upang mapalawak ang mga unyon at mapasigla ang mga pakikibakang masa.

Dapat magbunsod ng tuluy-tuloy na malawakang kampanya sa propaganda at edukasyon para ipaliwanag sa mamamayan ang nilalaman, motibo at masasamang epekto ng free trade chacha, imperyalistang globalisasyon, enhanced defense cooperation at US rebalancing sa Asia.

Dapat ituon ang pinakamalakas na hambalos ng pakikibakang manggagawa at pakikibakang bayan sa imperyalismong US, malaking burgesyang kumprador at papet na rehimeng Aquino.
Mabuhay ang manggagawang Pilipino!
Mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino!
Palawakin ang kilusang unyon at mga pakikibakang unyon!
Palawakin at palakasin ang kilusan at pakikibakang anti-imperyalista, antipasista at antipyudal!
Ilantad, ihiwalay at labanan ang imperyalismong US at papet na rehimeng Aquino!

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

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Militant workers gear up for Labor Day protests
30-April-2014

Fresh from two days of protests during US Pres. Barack Obama’s visit to the country, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno announced today that it is all set for tomorrow’s Labor Day protests.

The labor group said this year’s May 1 protest will have the theme “Pahirap, Korap, Tuta ng Kano: Labanan at Gapiin ang Rehimeng US-Aquino!” and will condemn Pres. Noynoy Aquino for pressing down workers’ wages, signing the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, and pushing for Charter Change.

It said it expects tens of thousands of workers and advocates of labor rights from various sectors of society to join protests in Metro Manila and more than a hundred thousand to participate in protests all over the country.

“Workers and advocates of workers’ rights have every reason to join this year’s Labor Day protests. Aquino has been pressing down wages, has just signed the EDCA and is pushing for Cha-cha, showing the world just who his real ‘bosses’ are,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.

He said protests and other activities will be held in 14 regions, including Metro Manila: Ilocos, Cordillera, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Panay Islands, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, Western Mindanao, Far South Mindanao and Eastern Mindanao.

The labor leader said that in Metro Manila, protestors will converge at Welcome Rotonda, Monumento, Quirino, Stop N Shop, and Plaza Hernandez in the morning and then march to Liwasang Bonifacio and then to Mendiola in the afternoon.

“We are revolted by Aquino’s refusal to heed the call of workers and the poor for immediate economic relief through a significant wage hike and other measures. He is serving the US, not Filipinos; big foreign and local capitalists, not workers; and hacienderos like him, not farmers,” Soluta said.

People’s artist and social realist painter Orlando Castillo prepared a mural which depicts the puppetry of Aquino to the US and the workers’ and people’s resistance to Aquino and which will be used as the backdrop for the protest’s program.

Meanwhile, artists from the UgatLahi Artists’ Collective prepared an effigy entitled “Noynoy Puppetnoid” which depicts Aquino as a robot that functions according to dictates by the US and which will be paraded in the protest and burned in Mendiola.

“We always see to it that May 1 protest attendees are educated about policies, such as the Wage Rationalization Law and the Herrera Law, which are responsible for the suffering of workers and the poor. This year’s Labor Day protest will highlight the need for the country to achieve genuine freedom and democracy in order to radically improve the plight of workers and the poor,” Soluta said.

Renowned theater actress and activist Monique Wilson and international delegates to the KMU’s International Solidarity Affair, which marks its 30th anniversary this year, will join the Labor Day protest in Manila.

Reference Person: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general
Contact information: 0928-7215313
 

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Aquino draws brickbats over pre-Labor Day dialogue
30-April-2014

One day before Labor Day, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned Pres. Noynoy Aquino over his Tuesday dialogue with labor groups, saying the chief executive has conducted such dialogues with workers’ groups since 2011 but has refused to meet workers’ demands.

In the said dialogue, Aquino either rejected outright or merely promised to study workers’ demands for tax breaks for minimum wage earners, lower power rates, the elimination of per-project basis job orders, security of tenure, and salary hike for government employees.

“We condemn Aquino for engaging in this yearly ritual of pretending to be listening to workers’ demands while at the same time spitting on our faces by rejecting our demands. Puro papogi at paasa itong si Noynoy, pahirap naman sa manggagawa,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.

The labor leader said the truth is that Aquino is behind policies that lower the value of wages, promote contractual employment, increase workers’ tax burden, and hike rates for power and other social services.

He cited Aquino’s defense of decisions of the country’s regional wage boards to grant meager wage adjustments despite the soaring prices of basic goods and services and Aquino’s rejection of calls for a significant wage hike, such as the P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide that workers have been clamoring for.

Soluta said government employees’ salaries take the cue from movements in the wages of workers in the private sector.

“Workers and the poor have every reason to join protests tomorrow, Labor Day. Our economic condition continues to worsen and we are sick and tired of Aquino’s bogus displays of concern for workers and real subservience to big foreign and local capitalists,” he added.

The labor leader also condemned the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)-Sentro, the labor group of Aquino’s close ally Akbayan, for repeatedly leading workers’ groups in holding dialogues with the president.

“It is disgusting that there are so-called labor leaders like those of APL-Sentro who collude with Aquino in his yearly campaign of deception on workers’ issues. They persist on holding these dialogues with Aquino despite his refusal to respond positively to their so-called demands,” Soluta said.

He also said that given Aquino’s rabidly pro-capitalist stands on various issues, workers and the poor are already condemning, not holding dialogues with or listening to, the chief executive.

Reference Person: Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general
Contact information: 0928-7215313

 

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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We workers condemn the signing of the US-PH EDCA!
28-April-2014

We condemn the US government and the government of Pres. Noynoy Aquino for planning to sign the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) today shortly before US Pres. Barack Obama arrives in the country.

If he approves this agreement, Noynoy will surpass recent Philippine presidents when it comes to increasing US military presence in the country and puppetry to the US. He will show that he is indeed the son of Cory, who rabidly campaigned for the approval of the US-RP Military Bases Agreement in the early 1990s.

The fact that the EDCA will be signed without any consultation with the public – nay, without at least formally informing the public of its contents – highlights the undemocratic manner by which US dictates are implemented in the country. It emphasizes the fact that the Philippines is an independent country only in appearance and that the country is in substance a US neo-colony.

The US and Philippine governments keep on repeating the lie that the EDCA will not bring back US military bases into the Philippines in an attempt to fool the public. Even the Visiting Forces Agreement, despite its title, has been used as an excuse for the permanent stay of US troops in Zamboanga City since 2002.

The truth is that the EDCA will bring back US bases into the country and it violates the Philippine Constitution which states that agreements about foreign military bases should be approved by the Philippine Senate and its counterpart.

The EDCA signals the Philippines’ re-occupation by the US. It does not set any geographical limit as to where the US can establish military bases in the country. It does not set any limit as to how many US troops can be deployed into the country at any given time. Its 10-year coverage will surely be expanded in the light of the US’ geo-political strategy of pivoting to Asia and targeting China.

Assurances that the EDCA will respect the Philippine Constitution, that Philippine consent will be sought for all US activities, and that nuclear weapons will not be brought into the Philippines are all lies given the highly unequal relationship between the US and the Philippines and the history of this relationship.

Reference Person: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson
Contact information: 0908-1636597

 

           
     
     
     
           

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May 1, 2014

Free Benito-Wilma Tiamzon Movement marches with workers on Labor Day

Members, friends and supporters of the Free Benito-Wilma Tiamzon Movement today joined the Labor Day rally of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) wearing masks of Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria-Tiamzon. As they marched with workers and other members of people’s organizations, the members of the Free Benito-Wilma Tiamzon Movement clenched their fists as an “act of defiance.” On several occasions, the police escorts of Benito and Wilma Tiamzon prevented the two from raising their clenched fists before the public.

The group called for the resumption of the peace talks between the GPH and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the release of Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria and 12 other peace consultants of the NDFP.

 

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The stalled peace negotiation between the two parties should have tackled the second substantive agenda on socio-economic reforms, including workers’ democratic rights and welfare such as wages, job security and benefits that are under attack by the US- Aquino regime.

Benito and Wilma Tiamzon are among the 14 detained NDFP peace consultants as a result of the GPH’s violation of the JASIG (Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees). Both are known holders of NDFP Document of Identification. Wilma Austria holds DI No. ND978226 under her real name; while Benito Tiamzon was issued Document Idenfication number ND978227 under the assumed name "Crising Banaag."

The peace negotiation has been stalled since 2011, largely due to the GPH’s refusal to honor previously signed agreements and commitments to the NDFP. ###


 
     
 
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May 1, 2014

NEWS RELEASE

Fight for better wages, humane labor conditions, secure jobs and genuine change

All working people must work for a better future -- Anakpawis

Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap called on workers to unite and demand for a national legislated wage increase, job security, humane working condition in workplaces and union rights.

"These basic workers’ rights are perennially ignored by employers and the government. Workers are the producers of social wealth and yet they are among the most impoverished. Their families are poor and hungry. They cannot send their children to school. They survive on a hand-to-mouth existence. It's high time for workers to fight and take back what is rightfully theirs. Beyond the yearly Labor Day demands, workers must work for a better future, a better Philippines. We must fight against exploitation and social inequality and work to realize genuine social change."

"Given President Benigno Aquino III's constant pro-employer stance, workers can only rely on their collective strength and action to realize their economic and political demands," said Hicap.

The solon authored House Bill 253 that seeks the granting of P125 across-the-board legislated wage increase for workers in the private sector. "All labor groups and organizations must unite and fight for a national legislated wage increase to replace the regionalized wage settings that have nailed wage levels to the basement floor," the solon said.

"We encourage workers to conduct massive lobbying and actions in Congress to press for a legislated wage increase. Actions from factories, offices and economic zones must converge in the streets to strongly highlight workers' demands."

Next week as the Congress resumes session, Hicap will press the Commitee on Labor and Employment to discuss and approve House Bill 253 or the P125 across-the-board legislated wage increase.

Fight anti-worker policies, ChaCha

"Workers must also fight for humane labor conditions and the recognition of union rights. The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) failed to uphold workers' rights and labor standards and always showed its bias towards capitalists and business owners."

The Anakpawis solon also called on workers to resist anti-worker and anti-people policies of the Aquino administration. "Aquino continued and intensified labor contractualization, implemented lower wages through the Two-Tiered Wage policy and allowed higher prices of goods, services and utilities."

"We also want to highlight the dire situation of tens of thousands of agricultural workers in agrocorporations, agricompanies, plantations and haciendas. They are not protected by existing labor standards."

Hicap said Filipino workers must also fight against Charter Change that will ease the economic provisions of the Constitution in favor of foreign investors. Charter Change will only result to further exploitation of our labor force and human resources," Hicap said.

"Remember Ka Bel"

"This Labor Day, we also give respect and remember the ideals of late Anakpawis Rep. Crispin 'Ka Bel' Beltran. Ka Bel lived and died advocating workers' rights. He fought against social inequality and corruption. He wanted Filipino workers to have better lives. He is an inspiration to all working people aspiring for change."

Beltran, a former labor leader and legislator, died in 2008. He fell while repairing the roof of his house. ###

Reference: Fernando Hicap, 0920-2271620

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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RELEASE
30 April 2014

Aquino’s industrial peace entrenches injustice to labor—CTUHR

Center for Trade Union and Human Rights said that the Aquino government’s industrial peace policy have only entrenched injustice to workers and hostility to unions and actions because of the government’s preference to maintain a good business climate rather than uphold workers rights and interests.

Citing A Special Report on industrial peace and tripartite mechanisms to be released June this year, the group said that the Aquino government’s promotion, legalization, and institutionalization of compulsory arbitration and mediation mechanisms has advanced a myopic, even convoluted, concept of labor justice where “settlement” of labor-management conflict has resulted in workers having to settle with what is offered to them by the management sometimes even by the Department of Labor and Employment rather than hurdle a protracted legal battle or resort to strikes and protest.

In the last three years, strikes and lockout notices have dramatically declined from 240 in 2011 to 149 in 2013. Of these cases, an average of 78.7 percent is settled each year which the government views as an achievement in facilitating labor justice towards promoting industrial peace but whether this reflects a betterment of workers condition in the workplace is questionable at the very least, according to the group. “Rather, it may only prove that the government effectively uses its new mechanisms to tame workers’ collective action,” Arman Hernando, CTUHR coordinator for documentation said.

The group reported that in their documentation, settlements in cases of illegal dismissal due to sudden closures or union-management conflict is often reduced to money and economic settlement wherein workers are offered money or livelihood programs to keep them from holding strikes in pursuit of their right to tenure.

“The government presents these settlements, this legalized modus to keep workers from striking or protesting as a win-win solution, but in reality, the workers are always at a loss because the companies often are not held fully accountable for their violations. And while workers may receive some money, they lose their jobs and their unions,” Hernando explained.

"And when these mechanisms do not work to pacify workers actions, the Labor Secretary uses the power to assume jurisdiction to stop the strike again to the benefit of capitalists," Hernando added.

Further, the group monitored at least 21 cases of strikes and picket protests of workers in 2012 and 2013 in contrast to the government’s record of only six strikes from 2011 to 2013. “The government is downplaying workers struggle to project that industrial peace has been attained to attract more investors. But again, low strike incidence does not at all indicate that workers no longer have concerns that merit staging a strike or protest because violations of union rights and labor standards persist.” Hernando added.

The group cited government statistics of increased labor standard violations among enterprises in the last three years from 30 percent to 42.3 percent. The group also documented 594 victims of trade union and human rights violations in 2013 alone.

The group also underscored that impunity reigned in the four years of the Aquino administration as there is still no justice for the trade unionists killed under the previous administration and killings of trade unionists continued with at least 9 victims since Aquino took office in July 2010. “Even the High Level Monitoring Body constituted by the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council after the ILO recommendations in 2010 to investigate on these killings have only made recommendations to “close” cases or “keep investigating,” Hernando said.

Until the government reverses its framework of industrial peace that mainly protects business interest over workers rights, then there can be justice in such policy, the group said. The group also vowed to join the Labor Day protest tomorrow to press the government to stop trade union repression and human rights violations, call for justice for victims of past violations and to support workers demands for better wages and secure jobs.###

For reference: Arman Hernando, CTUHR Documentation Coordinator, +632 4110256.

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     
     

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NEWS RELEASE
1 May 2014

Labor NGO seeks junking of DOLE’s ‘contractualization order’

A labor research group has reiterated its call to scrap Department of
Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) order promoting contractual work
arrangements in workplaces issued last 2011.

Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) said
DOLE’s Department Order 18-A encourages companies to implement
short-term contracts and violate workers’ job security in the guise of
“ethical contractualization.”

“While it recognizes contractual workers’ rights and requires labor
contractors to register, Department Order 18-A nevertheless promotes
contractual work arrangements in deodorized form. The order lays legal
basis for rampant contractualization that weakens unions and denies
workers’ of security of tenure,” EILER executive director Anna Leah
Escresa said during Labor Day protests in Manila.

EILER said the order serves as implementing rules of the provision in
the Labor Code on contracting and subcontracting.

Escresa said Department Order 18-A also promotes multiple
subcontracting, as it exempts big employers from liability while
placing obligations to workers’ on small contractors.

“Department Order 18-A is highly favourable to big firms engaged in
subcontracting as it insulates them from liability in terms of
regularizing employees, payment of mandated wages and benefits, and
union recognition,” Escresa explained.

EILER explained that contractualization primarily allows companies to
jack up profits by saving on labor costs, as contractual receive lower
wages than regular counterparts and are denied the full package of
benefits.

“It is alarming that contractualization is increasingly becoming
prevalent across industries. Currently, contractualization hotspots
are the sectors of construction (81.21 percent of total workforce),
hotels and food service activities (50.26 percent) and manufacturing
(48.64 percent).

“We will seek a congressional inquiry on Department Order 18-A as soon
as Congress resumes session on May 5 and push for its immediate
junking,” Escresa concluded.

Reference: Anna Leah Escresa, EILER executive director, 09088196319

 

     
           
     
     
     

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Message to Filipino workers on May 1
Communist Party of the Philippines

May 01, 2014

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) extends its revolutionary greetings to the Filipino working class on the occasion of International Worker’s Day. Let us pay our highest respects to the heroes of the working class movement in the Philippines, from Isabelo delos Reyes to Crisanto Evangelista, from Amado V. Hernandez to Ka Bert Olalia and Crispin Beltran.

Let us fully appreciate the history of the Filipino working class struggles, the sacrifices and victories of previous generations of workers and the critical tasks that must be shouldered by the present generation of workers in order to defend their democratic rights and carry forward their democratic mass struggles amid relentless attacks and worsening exploitation by foreign big monopoly capitalists and their local partners.

Let us firmly grasp the key role played by the Filipino workers in leading the Filipino people’s national democratic revolution that seeks to end the oppressive and exploitative semicolonial and semifeudal system and pave the way for socialist revolution and construction.

The urgent need to carry forward the national democratic revolution is underscored by the current situation of the Filipino working class. The oppression, exploitation and socio-economic conditions of the Filipino workers have rapidly worsened over the past three decades of neoliberalism and labor flexibilization policies. These have further sharply declined under the protracted and continuing global capitalist crisis since 2008.

Wage levels have constantly dropped relative to the constant and sharp increase in the cost of living. Minimum wages are presently set at less than half of the daily needs of a family of six to live decently. Minimum wage laws have been undermined by the regionalization of minimum wages since the late 1980s and outrightly contradicted by the Two-Tier Wage Policy of the Aquino regime which sets grossly low “floor wages” (based on government underestimations of poverty levels) as bases for setting wages. The latest proposal to come out of the Aquino bureaucracy is to completely abolish the minimum wage law by making its implementation optional.

The democratic rights of workers have been constantly attacked by the labor-flexibilization policies of the past three decades. Security of tenure, a fundamental right won by workers through arduous struggles throughout the 20th century, has been taken away by various policies, laws and practices in the name of “flexible employment schemes.” The practice of labor contractualization was set forth in RA 6715 or the Herrera Law which amended the Labor Code in 1989.

The most prevalent and oppressive of these is the practice of different forms of “labor-only contracting” where workers have become permanent contractuals, ever threatened with removal. Job contracts last typically five months or less. Young workers are especially vulnerable to ever worsening forms of “flexible” employment where they are subjected to the most inhumane conditions at the workplace. These include arrangements between training schools and companies where students are required to work for little or no pay for months on end. In certain schools, students are even required to pay for their “training” in factories, hotels, hospitals and other workplaces.

After three decades, close to 100% of rank-and-file workers are contractuals. Rank and file workers who remain regular workers through sheer resistance are still threatened with removal from their jobs through forced retirement, job redundancy and other means.

With their right to unionize rights relentlessly attacked, it is estimated that the number of workers belonging to unions has dropped to less than 5% from 15% in the 1980s. Key union leaders have been targeted for retrenchment. Not a few have been killed or subjected to criminal prosecution. Indirectly, the right to unionize has been effectively curtailed through the contractualization of labor. Labor contracts bar workers from joining unions and from carrying out collective action.

The significant losses in terms of organized labor strength has made the Filipino workers ever more vulnerable to worsening forms of oppression and exploitation, with their socio-economic conditions and state of democratic rights at their lowest compared to the past century.

The attacks against the Filipino workers are set to further intensify in the next years as the crisis of the global capitalist system continues to worsen. Goaded by the American Chamber of Commerce, the IMF and foreign banks, the Aquino regime plans to put into place policies to further pull down wages in competition with China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia and other countries where workers’ wages are kept low to “attract foreign investments” in assembly plants.

At the same time, the Aquino regime has perpetuated the policy of exporting labor. To serve this purpose, Aquino has stepped up efforts to expand the government “training school” and transform the entire educational system to churn out young workers for the labor-export market. Young students are being trained as barristas, masseurs, welders, cooks, bakers, nurses and caregivers, not to serve the development of the domestic economy, but rather, to deploy them to the US, the Middle East and other countries. Aquino’s only palpable solution to the widespread problem of unemployment is no different from the solutions of the regimes of the past 30 years.

There is an urgent need to counter the neoliberal attacks against the Filipino workers and advance their aspirations for higher wages, better working conditions and job security. The national democratic labor movement in the Philippines must persevere in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the Filipino workers and their families.

Worker activists must tirelessly engage in propaganda and education work in order to rouse the workers and militate them to wage collective action. They must ceaselessly expose the evils of neoliberalism and flexible labor. They must help the the young generation of workers study the history of the working class movement in the Philippines and learn its lessons in order to guide their current mass struggles to advance their democratic aspirations. They must shatter the imperialist-imposed culture of fear, docility, submission and acceptance that divides the workers and subjects them to greater exploitation and oppression.

They must exert all-out effort in building unions, waging struggles for wage increases and better working conditions and asserting that such rights and demands be accorded to all workers, be they regular or contractual workers. Despite the great difficulties and all-out suppression, workers have achieved important victories in building unions and various types of associations both inside and outside the factories.

Working class communities must serve as the base for mass organizing employed workers, the unemployed and their families. Worker activists and activists of the youth and student movement must tirelessly build working class organizations in the communities in order to serve as mainstays of the workers’ movement.

As such, working class communities are a bastion of the workers’ movement from which they can wage struggles to push forward the demand for wage increases, lower prices of food and fuel, higher allocation for health, education and other social services, employment, industrialization and land reform and fight the Aquino regime’s cronyism and corruption, privatization schemes and other such policies that serve foreign big business, sell out the country’s patriomy and subject the workers and toiling masses to exploitation, oppression and worsening socio-economic conditions.

Indeed, the Filipino workers face great challenges. These are, however, not insurmountable. But in order to leap forward, the activists of the national democratic workers’ movement in the Philippines must be ready to make sacrifices in shouldering the difficult tasks of arousing, organizing and mobilizing the Filipino workers. The youth and students activists should extend assistance in order to help reach out a greater number of workers and their communities.

It is crucial for the revolutionary and progressive forces to advance the national democratic workers’ movement. The sustained increase in the strength of the workers’ mass movement will serve as the key in strengthening the democratic mass movement’s capability to defend and advance the democratic aspirations of the people amid greater liberalization, privatization, deregulation and denationalization; and confront and cause the downfall of one ruling reactionary regime after another.

Heightened US imperialist intervention and the increased presence of American combat troops in the Philippines demand that the Filipino workers unite under the banner of patriotism. It reminds the Filipino workers of the lead role that they played in the struggle against colonialism from the turn of the 20th century until the 1940s and the struggles they waged against neocolonial control since then.

At the same time, the advance of the national democratic workers’ movement will serve the advance of the rural mass movement and the revolutionary armed struggle in the countryside, by serving as an inspiration for mass struggle and resistance; and becoming a wellspring of activists and cadres that will serve the peasant mass struggles for land reform; and of Red commanders and fighters of the New People’s Army.

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

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DATE: MAY 1, 2014 | REFERENCE: GI ESTRADA, MEDIA OFFICER, CP# 09166114181

Agricultural workers join May 1 fight for wages; call to abolish pakyaw rate

Agricultural workers under the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), a national federation composed of farm workers’ organizations and unions nationwide, will join protests led by the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in Manila and the rest of the country today, Labor Day.

UMA scores the “hacendero administration” of President BS Aquino for brazenly disregarding the people’s demand for wage increases and improved social services, while railroading schemes which will only benefit his foreign bosses such as the recently signed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the US, and the dubious Charter Change moves in Congress.

The BS Aquino administration is absolutely liable for pressing down wages through the two-tiered wage system and the divide-and-rule tactics long-employed by the regional wage boards. Not only is the minimum wage lower outside the National Capital Region. For agricultural workers, there exists two other sub-categories of minimum wages for plantation and non-plantation workers which are definitely lower than the provincial wage for industrial workers. These wage categories are obviously discriminatory and exploitative in nature.

The humble sacadas or agricultural workers in the sugar industry are among the most exploited and oppressed of laborers in the country. Agricultural workers under UMA are pushing for the abolition of the oppressive pakyaw rate (package rate) in the sugar industry to ensure benefits of all sugar workers including those working in mills.

According to the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW), a member-federation of UMA based in Negros Island, 95% of agricultural workers are paid the pakyaw rate – which means that workers are not paid based on hours of work, but with a fixed rate based on the wholesale accomplishment of certain tasks. Their net average weekly pay is only P700 – P1,000 or around only Php 140-150 a day.

In Batangas, the net average monthly pay of agricultural workers is P3,000 a month or Php 150 a day or less. There is also a system of wage based on each ton of sugar cane harvested. For a sacada or migrant worker, the rate is P120 - P180 per ton while a local worker is paid P180 – P200 per ton. Essentially both the pakyaw and per ton rate are forms of contractualization. Most agricultural workers in the sugar industry are hired on a seasonal basis, and work for only 6 – 8 months in a year.

Majority of sugar workers also do not have any work benefits such as social security and health insurance. A big number also do not get their meager cash bonus funds from the Social Amelioration Program (SAP). As of crop year 2011-2012 the unclaimed, undistributed cash bonus funds for agricultural workers have accumulated to Php 407.8 million. Furthermore, majority of those working in sugar mills and even in haciendas have become contract workers where a wage freeze policy is imposed. Union and and rights to form organizations are also trampled upon. Dismal conditions will further worsen once the tariff for imported sugar goes down to 5% to “zero tarriff” next year, 2015.

Instead of addressing agricultural workers’ needs, the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) is proposing to set up Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and sugar block farming that will pour generous funds to the traditional sugar barons – giant sugar millers and hacenderos operating sugarcane plantations. In economic zones, the “no union, no strike” policy is the prevailing norm. With sugar block farms, small planters will essentially lose control over their lands through leasehold arrangements with giant farm managers; while so-called agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) will have to put their small farmlots as share in a sugar block, thus relegating hapless ARBs to be the slaving farmworkers that they were before land distribution.

Workers in the sugar industry face a bleak future with the Aquino administration. Workers can only depend on their own strength to organize to further the struggle for basic human rights, economic rights and national sovereignty. #
_____________________________

Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura
(Agricultural Workers Union)
Philippines

Follow UMA Pilipinas on Twitter

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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News Release
May 1, 2014

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares on Labor Day workers' woes

Under the Aquino administration wages remain to be very low and they have little or no benefits at all. The non wage benefits handed out by govt are crumbs intended to placate the people’s frustration with government. That is why it is high time that House Bill 253 or the P125 across the board wage increase should be prioritized and immediately be implemented as well HB 175 to increase the SSS pension for workers. The working class should continue to fight for their rights and everyone should support their struggle for higher wages and better working conditions.

 

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BPO workers to PNOY: Give us a gift on int’l worker’s day; give us our well-deserved Tax Holiday!

Press Statement
May 1, 2014

As we celebrate the International Worker’s Day, the BPO Industry Employees Network or BIEN Philippines would like to remind the President of the current situation of BPO workers who has long been neglected by this government. The 900,000 – strong labor force in the BPO industry remain insolvent to the many issues confronting them. We expected that when President Obama visited the country, President Aquino could’ve hinted the situation of BPO employees where salaries have started to trim down and security of tenure is being compromised.

BIEN Philippines has long campaigned for a three-month tax holiday that will allow BPO workers to enjoy their well-earned income for their families and save for the lean months. We believe that giving tax breaks will benefit not only these workers but the entire economy as a whole. We are giving money back to people so people can spend it on basic commodities. This will ensure a continuing cycle of cash in the economy. Tax Holidays will help greatly BPO workers as their conditions worsen and face the threat of job security.

BPO clients from the US are forcing employers to trim down basic salary to as low as P10,000 – P12,000 on entry level. Back in the early 2000’s once you start in the BPO, you enjoy as much as P20,000 – P25,000 entry level basic pay. But as the demand increases, BPO companies are forced to trim down basic pay to meet the requirements of foreign clients. The growing competitive environment of the BPO industry is forcing many companies to lower down wages in order to maintain global recognition as the cheapest labor force up to date. This, however, compromises the quality of living that BPO workers are facing today.

Despite the many promising benefits in the BPO industry, the growing financial crisis is in fact forcing companies to streamline and lessen these benefits. The most obvious is the consistent merging of different major BPO players that eventually force lay-offs or putting workers in floating status until an account or business unit will be available for them. The stability of the BPO industry is very limited to the executive level where they enjoy tremendous profit in billions of dollars, while workers on the other hand are made to enjoy on a couple of thousands of pesos, making them believe that they still have better pay than others. In 2012 alone, the BPO industry registered a total of $13 billion in revenue, a tremendous leap from its’ 2005 revenue of only $2 billion.

The growth of the BPO industry is leaving workers behind. We don’t have job security, we are prohibited from forming workers’ union, we cannot petition for profit sharing and appraisal on our pay, we are simply left to take calls and eventually outgrow this norm inside the industry. It is sad that on every Labor Day, job fairs are filled with BPO’s hiring and promising unemployed Filipinos of a well-off career in a call center, but remain unaware of the real situation of BPO workers. Taxes of BPO workers remain one of the highest despite of corporate tax incentives that BPO companies are getting. Health and safety remain unresolved in many aspects like going on bio-breaks and health standards for each company.

So giving Tax Holidays for BPO workers will highlight the opportunity to salvage whatever trifling amount that is left on their pay. Many countries have so far successfully practiced tax holidays. In the US, for example, those in the garment industry are getting tax breaks on certain commodities. Many Latin American countries, workers’ enjoy tax holidays as part of efforts to uplift their condition from poverty. We are not selfish not to pay taxes. But if the government cannot resolve corruption issues within their own ranks, its’ best that we get our money back and spend it on more practical needs of our families.

On a monthly basis, a BPO workers’ tax can average from P3,000 to P7,000, excluding other government mandated deductions such as SSS, Philhealth, and Pag-ibig. Assuming that we get our three-month tax holiday, that is tantamount to around P12,000 – P21,000 in savings, which means a lot for every BPO worker. Our call is simple, give us back what is due for us.

Ian Porquia
BIEN Philippines
+63 9182182678
 

 

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     

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THE LABOR MOVEMENT[1]

 

Labor and the Philippine Revolution

 

A review of Philippine history will show that the Filipino proletariat emerged before a determined national liberation movement could be formed. The Katipunan was initially based among the city workers and it was steered by a leadership epitomized by Andres Bonifacio.

 

The revolutionary movement included the shipyard workers and warehousemen whose considerable number signified the great impact of the opening of the Suez Canal and the opening of the ports of Manila to foreign trade since 1815. Commerce and liberal ideas came to the country more easily and stirred a trend towards bourgeois democracy and jarred the old colonial and feudal order. Andres Bonifacio who embodied this new development in Philippine society was both a bodeguero and a student of the French revolution.

 

The revolutionary movement also included the clandestine printers’ union inside the UST press which secretly printed some materials for the Katipunan and brought out some types for the printing machine of Kalayaan. The immediate involvement of the printers in the revolutionary movement was again indicative of the progressive character of the struggle.

The first elements of the Filipino proletariat—the shipyard workers, warehousemen and printers—were immediately in the forefront at the very outset of the national liberation movement, only to be pushed aside by the more articulate advocates of liberalism, the ilustrados. The Tejeros Convention clarified the class leadership of the old type of national-democratic revolution.

 

One might say, however, that earlier, through more than three centuries, forced labor in encomiendas, in timber-cutting, in shipbuilding, in church and government house constructions, in mining and in building roads and bridges spurred the continuous occurrence of localized revolts which were the objective preparation for the Philippine Revolution.

 

One can be more pointed and definite about the role of the Filipino worker in the preparation of the Philippine Revolution by citing the fact that the Cavite Mutiny of 1872, besides being the occasion for the Gomburza martyrdom, was in the first place a strike of the shipyard workers who demanded better living and working conditions and who were violently suppressed by the colonial authorities.

 

Significantly these workers had organized themselves into a mutual aid and benefit association as early as 1861. But, even as we recognize the decisive role of the Filipino proletariat in the preparation and initiation of the Philippine Revolution and in making the clear call for national liberation, let us also recognize the fact that the Filipino proletariat was still in its germinal stage in 1896 and that at that time it was more influenced by the liberal ideas of Europe and of the ilustrados than imbued with the proletarian ideology of Marx which was already quite a specter frightening the ruling bourgeoisie of Europe. In other words, the workers were more patriotic in a spontaneous way than class conscious. The Katipunan, though steered by men from the proletariat, was basically a patriotic movement embracing the masses in the most general sense. Andres Bonifacio could only realize that the Filipino ilustrados were reformistic and the masses were revolutionary and that the Filipino rich tended to associate themselves with the colonial authorities against whom the masses were already in revolt.

 

The importance of an ideology which is truly that of the proletariat and which guides all the toiling people according to their own national-democratic interests is starkly demonstrated by the ease with which the ilustrados and landlords derailed the Katipunan from its original course and weakened the entire revolutionary movement as soon as they combined to form the leadership of the Aguinaldo government and command the peasant masses. The liberal frame of mind which prevailed in the higher councils of the movement led eventually to a series of compromises like the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, and the naive agreement with the clever representatives of U.S. imperialism in Hong Kong and Singapore, the proclamation of a republic under the “noble protection” of the United States and capitulation to the U.S. “pacification” campaign in which the masses fighting for national freedom suffered and died in their hundreds of thousands.

 

Guided by their self-seeking liberalism and their genteel tradition, the representatives of the ilustrados—such as the Buencaminos, Legardas, Paternos, Pardo de Taveras and others—sat back in their comfortable chairs as the plundering hordes of MacArthur stamped their bloody feet on the face of our nation. The most traitorous section of the ilustrados had clapped their hands when the price of $2O million was settled in the U.S.-Spanish Treaty of Paris in payment for the Philippines. With their creole mentality, the renegades embraced the imperialists as fast as they had first refused to heed the Cry of Pugad Lawin.

 

U.S. imperialism marched in to cheat our people of their freedom and to massacre them for refusing to submit. But the proper blood money was available, the proper spoils were in government offices and in commerce, and the proper liberal language was employed to veil the brutal reality of imperialist conquest. U.S. imperialism made use of deceitful slogans like “democracy,” “Christianity,” “benevolent assimilation” and “tutelage for self-rule” as they dealt brutally with non-compromisers who refused to take the oath of allegiance to the U.S. flag and who continued to fight for Philippine independence.

 

Though we are highly critical of the inadequacy of the liberal frame of mind and method of struggle which in the long run weakened the Philippine Revolution, we recognize the revolutionary government of Aguinaldo at the height of its strength as objectively a bourgeois-democratic formation. The spontaneous masses, including the proletariat, found their rights formally respected in the Malolos Constitution and in practice. The government needed their strength to fight Spanish colonialism and U.S. imperialism.

 

At the height of the Filipino-American War, the printers working in the press of the revolutionary government and led by Hermenegildo Cruz, Felipe Mendoza and Arturo Soriano struck to protest the supercilious behavior of the foreman and to demand better working conditions. The revolutionary leaders could have invoked the critical war situation as an excuse for quelling the just demands of the workers but, because of the national and democratic character of the revolution, the strikers found ready and warm sympathy among them, particularly from General Antonio Luna, editor of La Independencia, who declared: “We are actually for the honor, independence and prosperity of the Filipino people. I see no reason why we should not give the demand of the strikers if we really are for the improvement of the Filipino workers. The first concern of the Filipino government is to give protection and prosperity to the Filipinos.”

 

We relate this incident not only to belabor the fact that workers continued to be an organic part of the revolution but also to show that they were beginning to be conscious of their class interests even as they had entered into a bourgeois-democratic alliance. From that time on, even through the harshest years of the U.S. imperialist regime, the Filipino working class continuously developed in ideology, in politics and in organization.

 

Union Obrera Democratica

 

The return of Isabelo de los Reyes in 1901 from the prisons and barricades of Barcelona invigorated to some extent the Filipino workers as a distinct class. Isabelo de los Reyes smuggled in a broad range of socialist reading materials to be read by workers and immediately made contact with Hermenegildo Cruz and other leading organizers from the ranks of the working class.

 

The workers recognized De los Reyes as a fearless Filipino patriot who defied the Spanish colonial authorities and suffered incarceration several times. They also saw in him a man who understood the international brotherhood and experience of the proletariat and who was prepared to provide leadership to the Filipino proletariat. In a way, at that time, De los Reyes comprehended the popular advance in the storming of the Bastille and the proletarian advance in the Paris Commune.

 

On December 30, 1901, when for the first time Rizal’s martyrdom was commemorated, the leaders of various printers’ unions and gremios met and decided to integrate themselves under the name of Union de Impresores de Filipinas (UIF). Participants in the meeting were Isabelo de los Reyes, Hermenegildo Cruz, Arturo Soriano, Melanio de Jesus, Luis Santos, Juan Geronimo, Timoteo Anzures, Nazario Pasicolan, Leopoldo Soriano and Margarita Pasamola—all leading pioneers in the Philippine trade union movement. In this meeting, the Marxist slogan of the First International, “the emancipation of the working class must be the task of the workers themselves,” was adopted by the men who formed the Union de Impresores de Filipinas, the undisputed premier trade union which served as the base for the first labor federation, the Union Obrera Democratica (UOD).

 

The Union Obrera Democratica was established on January 2, 1902, in the first labor congress ever to be held in Philippine history. The Congress also approved the UOD Constitution which embodied the principles adopted from the books Vida e Obras de Carlos Marx by Friedrich Engels and Los Dos Campesinos by the Italian radical socialist, Malatesta. Isabelo de los Reyes was elected president and Hermenegildo Cruz, vice president.

 

All the speakers in the Congress attacked U.S. imperialism and the Catholic Church while secret agents listened and took notes. While advancing the economic demands of the labor movement, the UOD expressed its purpose to encourage the people’s movement for independence. Alleging that the trade unionists were “subversives” and “anarchists,” Governor General Taft himself directly ordered their blacklisting and surveillance. Thus, U.S. imperialism proved alert to the patriotism and class-consciousness of Filipino workers and prepared its instruments of coercion and suppression.

 

On August 2, 1902, when the UOD waged the first general strike of the Filipino labor movement to protest the rejection of their demand for a general wage increase as an adjustment to the inflationary crisis, the U.S. colonial government moved to charge Isabelo de los Reyes with sedition and rebellion and convicted him upon the false witness of a striker who turned out to be a secret service man. The charges and conviction were based on a Spanish conspiracy law. Soon after, Isabelo de los Reyes who had withstood various vicissitudes in the Spanish era succumbed to the antilabor tactics of imperialism and resigned from the UOD to concentrate on his religious activity in the Philippine Independent Church.

 

UIF president and UOD vice president Hermenegildo Cruz acted to have Dr. Dominador Gomez replace De los Reyes in the leadership of the labor movement. The UOD was renamed Union Obrera Democratica de Filipinas (UODF). In his proclamation speech as UODF president, Gomez said:

 

“Do not be like some of our countrymen who are wise and able but have no courage to fight our masters and oppressors. They are timid and would like always to retreat. The banner of Union Democratica de Filipinas is dynamic nationalism against any form of imperialism, against oppression.”

 

In spite of U.S. imperialist repression, the labor federation under Gomez grew by leaps and bounds from 33 to 150 unions. Fearing the growth of organized labor, the U.S. imperialists instructed the ever-useful colonial errand boys, Pedro Paterno and Dr. Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, to persuade Gomez to resign as UODF president and accept a high government post. Gomez was only enraged to hear the two promoters of compromise and told them that he had already committed himself to the labor movement and to militant nationalism.

 

On May 1, 1903, despite the refusal of the U.S. colonial government to give UODF a permit to demonstrate, the federation staged a demonstration of 100,000 workers to celebrate labor day for the first time in the Philippines. The demonstration was held in front of Malacanang and the workers shouted: “Down with U.S. imperialism!”

 

As recorded by Hermenegildo Cruz, Dr. Gomez spoke before the demonstrators:

 

“We were told that America is the mother of democracy, but the American government in Malacanang is afraid to talk with the people who want democracy. The Americans said that they are for freedom, but why is it that they want to curtail our freedom by displaying fixed bayonets? The workers will not accept from the capitalists even a single centavo without an exchange of its equivalent in honest labor. What we are against is the practice of the capitalists of robbing the workers of the product of their sweat by not giving them what is due them. The workers should always bear in mind that they must achieve their emancipation themselves. We will not win without a struggle. We need strength in our struggle. We must always be united. In our struggle for better working and living conditions, we must at the same time struggle for the liberation of the motherland.”

 

Within the same month of May, 1903, the home of Dr. Gomez and the printing press where the UODF organ was printed were simultaneously raided by American and Filipino policemen in violation of the right to home and the right of free press and free assembly. The UODF president, like his immediate predecessor Isabelo de los Reyes, was charged with “sedition” and “illegal association.”

 

What U.S. imperialism resented in the leadership of these two men was the conjunction of the labor movement and a militant anti-imperialist movement which, it was afraid, would pursue the Philippine Revolution. The UODF was accused of giving assistance to the persistent armed struggle of Macario Sakay against the U.S. imperialists. Afterwards, the U.S. colonial regime stirred the rumor that Dr. Gomez had betrayed Macario Sakay. Immediately after the crackdown on the UODF which was intended to silence anti-imperialist workers, the agents of the American Federation of Labor tried to take over the Philippine trade union movement and to propagate the bourgeois-liberal concept that labor be separated from political activity and that it be always in unity with capital. To pursue its imperialist and anti-labor aims, the American Federation of Labor encouraged Lope K. Santos to organize the Union del Trabajo de Filipinas (UTF) and to stress the separation of labor and politics and the unity of the working class and the capitalist class. The UTF, in contrast with the UODF, enjoyed the full backing of Governor General Taft.

 

However, despite U.S. imperialist sponsorship, the UTF failed to deceive the workers. The stalwarts of the premier labor organization, the Union de Impresores de Filipinas, like Hermenegildo Cruz, Felipe Mendoza and Arturo Soriano, exposed the attempt to mislead the Filipino workers. Their experience in the struggle for national liberation and for workers’ rights and their exposure to Marxist ideas, chief of which is that the proletariat must win political power, had taught them how to withstand brutal repression and deception even if done in the style of U.S. imperialism.

 

With the disappearance of De los Reyes and Gomez from the trade union movement by force of imperialist power, Hermenegildo Cruz found himself at the helm, and he concentrated on transforming the craft unions (gremios) into full-fledged industrial unions so that these would be the stronger basis for a new labor federation. On May 1, 1913, he organized the Congreso Obrero de Filipinas and was elected its president.

 

Congreso Obrero de Filipinas

 

The Congreso de Obrero de Filipinas (COF) continued to expose and condemn the American Federation of labor, its racial policies and its attempts to subvert the Philippine trade union movement and subordinate it to the U.S. colonial government. The COF vigorously advocated the independence of the Philippines from U.S. imperialism.

 

In the era of imperialism, the COF was not free from splitters. In order to pursue their pro-imperialist tendencies and their U.S. style of political muckraking, Vicente Sotto, Ramon Diokno and Lope K. Santos formed a faction and split away to form the Asemblea Obrera in 1917. In order to pursue his program of company unionism, Joaquin Balmori also split away in the same year and formed the Federacion del Trabajo de Filipinas. Balmori advocated that labor unions should charge no membership dues and should receive financial support from management. His federation even made a resolution against strikes and so-called subversive ideas.

 

In the meantime, in the strongest single labor organization of the period, the UIF, a reorganization was made on March 1, 1918, in which Crisanto Evangelista was elected president. The period was marked by an atmosphere of militancy in the trade union movement as the October Revolution ushered in the first proletarian state.

 

In the entire trade union movement, the emergence of the young Crisanto Evangelista as a leader marked a new era. Upon his assumption as UIF president, he created a committee, composed of Hermenegildo Cruz, Pablo Lucas and himself, to make a labor survey in the various printing establishments and to draft a general petition to be presented simultaneously to all managements. A campaign for a strike fund was immediately launched in preparation for a general walkout if the petition was rejected. The press capitalists were so impressed with the determination and unity of their workers that they submitted to the demands which included wage hikes ranging from 100 to 500 percent. As a result of this successful campaign, the prestige and leadership of Crisanto Evangelista rose.

 

President Quezon, in an attempt to undermine the proven strength of the UIF, appointed Evangelista as a member of the Philippine Independence Mission to the United States in 1919. The mission though gave Evangelista the chance to meet and evaluate the various American labor leaders and organizations. He noted the reactionary and racial policies of the American Federation of Labor led by Samuel Gompers. He also came across more materials on scientific socialism and he was positively influenced by the widespread enthusiasm of the workers to launch a Third International.

 

Maintaining a high political consciousness over its daily economic struggle, the UIF, under the energetic leadership of Crisanto Evangelista, struck for the cause of national freedom and integrity in 1920 against all the American-owned and American-controlled newspapers which had suddenly waged a press campaign to forestall the movement for national independence and denigrate the Filipino people as incompetent for self-government and, therefore, deserving of further U.S. imperialist “tutelage.”

 

In 1922, Evangelista established the Partido Obrero (Workers’ Party), the precursor of the Communist Party of the Philippines. On May 1, 1927, the COF elected Francisco Varona president and Crisanto Evangelista secretary. On this day, it decided to affiliate with the Red International of Labor Unions. This was the culmination of Filipino labor participation in the Canton Conference of 1925, and in the conferences where the Filipino representatives discussed with the representatives of other national labor organizations (especially those from the East), shared their experiences in economic and political struggle and arrived at the conclusion that since they all faced Western imperialism they needed to band together in equality and in coordination against the common enemy.

 

In 1928, a more extensive contact of Filipino labor leaders with the international labor movement occurred. The leaders of COF, headed by Crisanto Evangelista, attended conferences in Shanghai, Moscow and Berlin. This development frightened the U.S. colonial government and it instructed its agents to make trouble in the COF. U.S. imperialism was afraid that the Filipino proletariat would derive greater strength by coordinating its efforts with the international labor movement.

 

On May 1, 1929, the COF split into the yellow faction led by Ruperto Cristobal and the red faction led by Crisanto Evangelista. The former packed the meeting hall with his own men and the latter had no alternative but to bolt. In this manner, the COF became inutile and a more militant and more progressive labor federation, Katipunan ng mga Anak Pawis, arose in June 1929. At the close of the third decade, Crisanto Evangelista emerged as the most outstanding leader in the trade union movement, extending his influence to Visayas and Mindanao by maintaining fraternal relations with the Federacion Obrero de Filipinas of Jose Maria Nava.

 

The Communist Party of the Philippines

 

Pursuing the objective of creating a solid political instrument of the working class, which he had earlier attempted in the Partido Obrero, Crisanto Evangelista established the Communist Party of the Philippines which would be imbued with Marxism-Leninism. Supported by the Katipunan ng mga Anak Pawis and the Katipunang Pambansang Mambubukid sa Pilipinas, the chief organizations of the trade union movement and the peasant movement respectively, the Communist Party of the Philippines was founded on August 26, 1930, and formally launched on November 7, 1930, thus bringing into an alliance the working class and the peasantry.

 

The Communist Party of the Philippines immediately became the object of concerted vilification and provocations by the ruling class and the U.S. colonial government. It faced immediately the same reactionary forces of imperialism and feudalism which thwarted the Philippine Revolution at the turn of the century and the first labor federation, the Union Obrera Democratica, in 1902 and 1903.

 

On May 1, 1931, workers marching under the two o’clock sun were bombarded with jets of water at Maypajo, Caloocan, upon the orders of the U.S. colonial regime. Subsequently, the meeting of the workers to celebrate the day was raided by American secret policemen and constabulary soldiers. The jails of Manila were filled with industrial workers and peasants. Twenty-eight communist leaders headed by Crisanto Evangelista, Juan Feleo, Guillermo Capadocia and Mariano Balgos were singled out from hundreds of arrested workers and were accused of sedition and illegal assembly. The leaders were given considerably long prison terms, others were banished. The Communist Party was outlawed, only a few months after its establishment. Provincial governors and town presidents were instructed by the U.S. colonial regime not to give any permit to the KAP and KPMP for any gathering.

 

It was only when the demand for the Popular Front grew stronger, as a result of the depression and worsened condition of the masses, that President Quezon pardoned the imprisoned and banished labor leaders in 1936. The Roosevelt government, in an antifascist act of expediency, acceded to the clamor for the release of the Communist Party leaders; communist parties in all parts of the world had become the most reliable antifascist fighters.

 

At the same time, Quezon tried to establish labor “unity” under his leadership and he tried establishing the National Federation of Labor with government subsidy. His attempt failed and Evangelista succeeded in upholding as a matter of principle and in practice the independence of the working-class movement from the Commonwealth government.

 

Come 1938, the Communist Party of the Philippines became numerically stronger as it merged with the Socialist Party led by Pedro Abad Santos. Through this merger, it made up for the years when it was outlawed and its leaders were either in prison or banished. The Socialist Party, which had become strong in the countryside, brought the peasantry in greater number to the Communist Party of the Philippines. The latter party had continued to enjoy the support of the proletariat even in its underground years, as proven when it again emerged.

 

In 1939, Crisanto Evangelista made another consolidation in the trade union movement and organized the Collective Labor Movement. This later became an organic part of the anti- Japanese resistance movement.

 

At this point, we give recognition to the profound development of the ideology, politics and organization of the working class under the leadership of Crisanto Evangelista. With respect to ideology, the working class started to grasp the universal theory of Marxism-Leninism. With respect to politics, the Communist Party started to make the working class a significant force in the struggle for national democracy. With respect to organization, the Communist Party of the Philippines was established as a definite working-class party.

 

A serious shortcoming of the leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines, before the contradiction between the Filipino people and Japanese fascism became the principal contradiction, was the failure to place the principal stress on the national and agrarian struggle against U.S. imperialism and feudalism. The leadership was well-versed in the contradiction between the proletariat and the capitalist class in general, but it failed all the time to stress the fact that the main contradiction within the Philippine society then was between U.S. imperialism and feudalism on the one hand and the Filipino people, mainly the workers and peasants, on the other hand. While all the workers, Marxist or not, demanded Philippine independence from U.S. imperialism, the matter of national liberation was obscured by the slogans of class struggle between the capitalist class and the working class.

 

The Communist Party of the Philippines was so immersed in legal and urban struggles that it was unprepared to wage armed struggle against Japanese fascism immediately. Crisanto Evangelista and other leaders of the Party were apprehended in the city by the Japanese a month after enemy occupation of Manila. Evangelista died a patriotic death in the hands of the Japanese fascists.

 

During the war, the CPP failed to make use of the Popular Front and the antifascist struggle as an occasion for building up anti-imperialism that would last the duration of the war and be capable of meeting the return of U.S. imperialism. Had the people been prepared to fight the return of U.S. imperialism, the slogan of “democratic peace” would not have been raised to allow the U.S. imperialists to crush the forces of national democracy, which broadly included not only the Communist Party of the Philippines and the HUKBALAHAP but even such a party as the Democratic Alliance.

 

The Japanese Occupation put the trade union movement into disarray as industrial and commercial activity became irregular and fell under the control of the aggressor.

 

Congress of Labor Organizations

 

In 1945, therefore, the Committee of Labor Organizations practically started from scratch after the ruin of war. It emerged from the ranks of the newly installed workers and came under the leadership of Mariano Balgos, Amado V. Hernandez and Manuel Joven, Felixberto Olalia, Pedro Castro and Cipriano Cid—to mention only a few. The committee within a short time became the Congress of Labor Organizations, embracing all genuine labor organizations.

 

As the leading and most comprehensive organization of the workers, the Congress of Labor Organizations became a massive force for national democracy. It became an effective instrument of the working class in seeking economic welfare and also in fighting for the true independence of the Filipino people.

 

Led by ardent patriots, the CLO found itself in the city fighting vigorously against the measures the U.S. government and the monopoly-capitalist class behind it wanted to impose upon the Filipino people in order to perpetuate colonial control and influence over our national life.

 

Against the basic principle of self-determination, the U.S. government arrogated into itself the power to “grant” sovereignty and independence to the Filipino people in an act of the U.S. Congress. In the U.S.-RP Treaty of General Relations of July 4, 1946, which made the “grant” of independence, it is stated that the U.S. government would retain control over military bases strategically placed all over the archipelago.

 

Against this background of imperialist chicanery and a treaty which retained the basic coercive instruments of U.S. imperialism in the Philippines, the Congress of Labor Organizations girded itself for other measures that were still to be rammed down our throats. It opposed the Bell Trade Act, which would extend the conditions of “free trade” and grant to U.S. citizens the right to exploit our natural resources and operate public utilities, necessitating the Parity Amendment of the Philippine Constitution.

 

U.S. imperialism prostituted democratic processes by expelling through its puppets the duly-elected members of Congress belonging to the Democratic Alliance and to the anti-imperialist wing of the Nacionalista Party, who were determined to block the passage of the Bell Trade Act and the ratification of the Parity Amendment in 1948. Despite the broad character of the Democratic Alliance, the reactionaries tried to pin it down as a subversive organization.

 

Not satisfied with expelling the duly-elected members of Congress who opposed its anti-Filipino designs, U.S. imperialism also engaged in sinister actions which did physical harm to members of the Democratic Alliance and the mass organizations supporting it. The Congress of Labor Organizations became the object of imperialist-guided attacks in all forms, in propaganda and actual murder. Its Secretary General, Manuel Joven, became a victim of kidnapping and assassination.

 

In 1951, in the course of the white terror campaign against persons and groups suspected of having association with the Communist Party of the Philippines, the national headquarters of the Congress of Labor Organizations was raided and its leaders and members were arrested en masse. The Congress of Labor Organizations was forced out of legal existence at the prompting of U.S. imperialism. This abuse of democracy was made in the name of democracy by the CIA-directed Ramon Magsaysay.

 

As borne out thirteen years later by a Supreme Court decision on Amado Hernandez et al, on May 30, 1964, acquitting Hernandez and other leaders of the CLO and “upholding” the right of expression and free assembly, the action of Magsaysay was indeed an attack against democracy, particularly those rights piously invoked by the Supreme Court, and also a dastardly attack against the national-democratic movement in which the CLO had excelled by fighting for our most basic national interests.

 

After every major imperialist crackdown on the Filipino labor movement, attempts are made by reactionary agents to take over the field. Since 1951, various attempts have been made to take over where the CLO left off. The American Jesuits put up their Institute of Social Order and the Federation of Free Workers. The U.S. imperialists—through their labor attaches and the AFL-CLO representatives—have directly extended subsidies to all sorts of puppet organizations and organizers. The International Labor Organization has also been used to subvert and redirect the labor movement in the Philippines, ideologically, politically and organizationally. The Philippine Trade Union Council was put up under the direction of U.S. agents in the International Labor Organization. The Asian Labor Education Center was also put up and assured by American foundations of continuous subsidy in order to subvert the thinking of the Filipino working class. The line of the counterrevolutionaries, as before, is to make the working class bend backwards to suit U.S. imperialism and to prevent it from developing a revolutionary consciousness.

 

Together with the agents of imperialism and clericalism, labor racketeers have flourished on the seeming carcass of a labor movement. But a class-conscious and anti-imperialist proletariat, with a clear socialist perspective, will surely rise up.

 

The CLO was busted to stop it from rallying the workers under the banner of national democracy and to leave the field wide open for all sorts of misleaders. U.S. imperialism was the leading enemy force behind the suppression of the CLO as it was previously in the case of the Philippine Revolution of 1896, the UOD, the COF and the CPP.

 

But the Filipino workers will prevail in the long run as they have always risen from the most trying crises imposed by their class enemy, U.S. monopoly capitalism. They know well now that their class enemy is U.S. monopoly capitalism, which squeezes the surplus value created by Filipino labor in the most exploitative way by bringing out of our country superprofits from its investments and in this way depresses internal economic growth. They also know well now that it is U.S. imperialism, through its military instruments, agents and bases right here within our national territory, which provides the puppet state with its coercive power. They now see through the subtlety of U.S. power and influence in all organs of the ruling class, whether bureaucratic, political, cultural, economic or police and military.

 

The progressive labor leaders of today are again developing the labor movement as an instrument of national democracy. As they realize that other patriotic classes, groups and elements are involved in the anti-imperialist struggle, they are learning in practice how to move with them and how to mass themselves against the chief enemy, U.S. monopoly capitalism or imperialism.

 

That the labor movement has consistently advanced despite the difficulties already described is best proven by the establishment of the Lapiang Manggagawa (Workers’ Party) in 1963. It was established with the biggest number of labor following at that time. However, at the present moment, it is seriously faced with the danger of disintegration from which it has evidently suffered through four years of existence, apparently, because of the deleterious impact of bourgeois politics which wracks the leadership every election time and because of the right-wing opportunism of certain elements and also because of narrow interfederation amor propio. But in the most objective manner of criticism, let me state that a party like the Lapiang Manggagawa, which tries to assume the role of leadership, will be strong only if it fulfills certain conditions in the fields of ideology, politics and organization.

 

In the ideological field, a working class party must have a truly proletarian world outlook, must be able to comprehend strategic principles and must maintain a socialist perspective and orientation. It must set up an educational program which promotes among the workers a proletarian outlook, a scientific viewpoint of history, an analysis of capitalist economy and imperialism, and socialism and a new democratic line. It must maintain workers’ schools at all levels. It must hold conferences on problems affecting the working class. It must set up a newspaper to serve as an ideological vehicle. Above all, it must, through actual mass struggle, raise the revolutionary consciousness of the people.

 

In the field of political activity, a workers’ party must be able to daily carry out concrete militant struggle for national democracy. It must build itself up not only among the workers but also among the peasants. It must arouse and mobilize the peasant masses for agrarian revolution, the key to the victory of the national-democratic revolution. It must respond promptly to the daily shifting demands of the anti-imperialist and the anti-feudal struggle, independently and in cooperation with all other anti-imperialist and anti-feudal forces and organizations. It should be alert to valuable alliances and keep on the alert after such alliances have been formed. It must have the firm and single objective of developing and acquiring political power for the masses.

 

In the field of organization, a workers’ party must be guided by the principle of democratic centralism. It must require individual membership from masses of all patriotic classes willing to assume the proletarian viewpoint. It must draw the greatest number of members and put up the greatest number of branches among the workers and peasants. It must build up itself on a nationwide scale to achieve the capability of withstanding the well-oiled bourgeois parties of the ruling class. It must arrive at organizational plans and must be able to fulfill them within the given period of time with all given party assets and resources clear beforehand. Organizations at all levels, from the branch upward, must be maintained on a daily basis and not on a seasonal basis during election years as it is in the NP and LP.

 

In our review of the trade union movement and its connection with the national-democratic movement, we have concluded with the tasks of building up a proletarian party. Without a proletarian party to provide leadership, the struggle for national democracy cannot be won. #

 


 


[1] Speech delivered by Jose Maria Sison in Pilipino before the 64th Anniversary Conference of the Union de Impresores de Filipinas on February 6, 1966; published in English in Progressive Review No. 9.

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
 
           
     
     
     


The Sunflower Protest Hats
 

           
           
 
 
 
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BONUS TRACKS:
The activists of the First Quarter Storm

 

           
 

Click on image to view slide show of May 1 commemoration


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