Celebrating International Labor Day 2015

 

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 May 1, 2015

 

 

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 May 1, 2015

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INTENSIFY THE STRUGGLE FOR WORKERS' RIGHTS,
STRENGTHEN THE ANTI-IMPERIALIST AND DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT!

Issued by the Office of the Chairperson
International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
May 1, 2015

On International Workers’ Day, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle gives its clenched-fist salute to the workers of the world and their genuine unions and labor organizations. We applaud their struggle for higher wages, job security and free exercise of trade-union rights as well as their democratic struggle against imperialism and its reactionary allies the world over.

We remember and celebrate the workers’ heroic struggle for an eight-hour workday in 1886. Prior to 1886, the bourgeoisie sought to intensify the exploitation of workers by making them work for 10, 12 or even 16 hours long. As the strain of inhumanly long working hours became more unbearable and as the living conditions of the working class worsened, the demand for a significant reduction of hours became more pronounced.

The workers emerged victorious after many huge protests and after many workers sacrificed their lives. This is proof that the bourgeoisie will always resist workers’ demands and that workers must wage fierce battles in order to win their rights.

Throughout the history of the militant workers movement, workers of the world have achieved many victories in advancing their rights and interests. Through various forms of mass actions, oftentimes met with brutal repression by the state and big capitalist firms, they have won for respect for their rights, obtained social benefits and pressured governments to codify these rights and benefits in laws and conventions.

These hard-won victories of the workers of the world and the labor movement are facing renewed attacks from the state and capital. Neoliberal policies implemented since the late 70s and early 80s have pressed down workers’ wages through various means in order to allow monopoly capitalists to rake in huge and increasing profits despite the intensification of the crisis of overproduction endemic to the world capitalist system.

The global economic and financial crisis that broke out 2007- 2008 was the result of neoliberal policy with its concomitants of wage reduction and social cutbacks, low taxe rates for the corporations and wealthy, investment and trade liberalization, privatization of public assets, deregulation of social and environmental restrictions and denationalization of underdeveloped economies.
Instead of recognizing the cause and consequences, the bourgeoisie has used the crisis as an opportunity to further concentrate wealth and resources into the hands of monopoly capitalists.

Currently, US imperialism and the transnational corporations are actively pushing new free trade agreements that openly disregard international labor rights conventions, while ensuring greater incentives, privileges and protection for capitalists.

The new trade agreements will drive a race to the bottom as governments adopt austerity measures at the expense of the working people, cutting down wages, eliminating job security through labour flexibilization and short-term contracts, attacking workers rights to unionize and strike and undermining the bargaining power of workers’ unions in the name of competition and attracting investments..

In response to this situation, the workers and peoples of the world have been waging various forms of collective action and militant struggle. In Greece, Spain and other countries in Europe, workers and people are taking a stand and voting against austerity measures imposed by the troika of European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The strikes mounted locally and across Europe between 2012 to 2015 are some of the biggest since neoliberal policies were introduced.

In the US, the Occupy protests exposed the gross inequality between the 99 per cent people and 1 per cent oligarchy and the crimes of the financial oligarchs responsible for the global economic and financial crisis that broke out in 2007-2008. Of late, protests are centering on the racist violence inflicted by the police against African-Americans. Low-wage workers in McDonald’s and Walmart are also intensifying their protests for an increase in wages which have been stagnant since the 1970s.

The workers and peoples in various Arab countries have overthrown openly authoritarian governments. The strikes of the workers of countries like Egypt have proven to be one of the key factors in the Arab Spring. Unfortunately the absence of genuine communist and workers' parties outside of the revisionist mould has resulted in the re-ascendant conflict of Islamic reactionaries and bourgeois military cliques. The US, the NATO and Israel have also taken the opportunity to bring down the Qaddafi government, unleash counterrevolution in Syria and fielded the Islamic state to wreak havoc in both Iraq and Syria.

The workers and peoples of Asian countries have shown their renewed vigor for mass action. Cambodian workers successfully mounted nationwide strikes and high-impact campaigns centered on wages. They are paving the way to the creation of a broad people’s movement. Workers in the Philippines and Indonesia have also held various protests for higher wages and against contractual employment.

In 2014 and this year, workers of South Korea launched several strikes aimed at the Park Geun-hye government which wants to railroad retrogressive labor market reforms and is launching a crackdown against trade unions and activists. For years, there have been many spontaneous workers' strikes in China. In the last seven years, the number of strikes has further increased and their demands are taking on a more political character against the monopoly capitalist state masquerading as socialist and the ruling party which is actually a phoney communist party.

In the US, the Occupy protests exposed the gross inequality between the 99 per cent people and 1 per cent oligarchy and the crimes of the financial oligarchs responsible for the global economic and financial crisis that broke out in 2007-2008. Of late, protests are centering on the racist violence inflicted by the police against African-Americans. Low-wage workers in McDonald’s and Walmart are also intensifying their protests for an increase in wages which have been stagnant since the 1970s.

The miners of South Africa launched militant protests for higher wages and better working conditions. Despite the massacre inflicted on them by the government, they remain undaunted and continue to struggle for workers’ rights. The workers and people of South America continue to support governments that are critical of the US and provide ramparts to the all-out implementation of neoliberal economic policies in the region.

In view of all the foregoing, we call on the workers of the world to further intensify their struggle for higher wages, job security, and the free exercise of their trade-union rights. We call on them to intensify the democratic struggle against imperialism and reaction which are behind the vicious and worsening attacks on workers’ rights.

We call on the workers of the world to fight for higher wages, which have been pressed down and have been lagging behind the increase in the cost of living. They should struggle for job security, which has been eroded for decades and is being destroyed at a rapid rate by the big capitalists. They should unite and fight, build more and stronger unions, and defend existing unions against capitalists’ attempts to destroy these either through frontal attacks or cooptation.

They should unmask the lie that higher wages and improvements in working and living conditions of workers go against generating employment. They should do away with the obscene lie that gains of the working people of the world, who create social wealth, are the ones responsible for the crisis, and that the monopoly capitalists who promote plunder and war are the ones who generate economic growth.

We call on the workers and peoples of the world to firm up their unity and advance their struggle for democratic rights and for better working and living conditions against the escalating exploitation and oppression being inflicted on them by the world capitalist system. They should struggle against worsening imperialist plunder and war.

Most important of all, they must heighten their consciousness and organized strength to fight and defeat the global and national systems of exploitation and oppression as well as the grave damage done to the environment by monopoly capítalism.

They must fight for a new and better world in which the working class can fulfill its historic mission of building socialism. They must fight for a society in which the conditions of greater freedom, democracy, social justice, development, cultural progress, peace and international solidarity can be realized. ###
 

 MARCH TO LIWASAN BONIFACIO AND ON TO MENDIOLA
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     
     

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MESSAGE TO THE 31st INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY AFFAIR 
AND TO KILUSANG MAYO UNO ON ITS 35th ANNIVERSARY
By Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson
International League of People’s Struggle
May 1, 2015

Click link below for video of speech:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2fMI2wZSKw


In representation of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, I convey warmest greetings of solidarity to all the participants of the 31st International Solidarity Affair. I also take the opportunity to congratulate the host, the Kilusang Mayo Uno, for having served as the genuine labor center in the Philippines in the last 35 years, for having waged struggles in defense of workers’ rights and for having won brilliant victories.

We in the ILPS appreciate highly the contributions of KMU to the ILPS as a whole and for Commission No. 5. The KMU has served as the lead organization in the commission and has played a key role in the establishment of WORKINS and the issuance of statements on outstanding labor issues in the world. The ISA and WORKINS are complementary instruments of the international proletariat.

We wholeheartedly agree with the theme of the ISA: Workers and Peoples Unite: Fight Neoliberal Attacks on Wages and Trade-Union Rights! The largest monopoly capitalists based in the imperialist countries and their subalterns on a global scale make their superprofits by extracting the surplus value from the working class.

Under neoliberalism, the accumulation of private capital is aided and accelerated by the wage cuts, low tax rates for the corporations and the wealthy, the liberalization of investments and trade, the privatization of public assets, the deregulation of social and environment restrictions, and the denationalization of economies that are underdeveloped but rich with natural resources like the Philippines.

The monopoly bourgeoisie mercilessly impose wage cuts, cutbacks on social benefits, job insecurity through contractualization and flexibilization of labor, and repression of the right to organize unions. The crisis of overproduction has recurred worse than the previous one. The expansion of money supply and credit has only served to bail out and fatten the financial markets but not to revive production and employment. Thus, the global crisis and depression have persisted.

Finance capitalism has been used to generate one financial bubble after another, which has burst one after the other in due course. It has hastened the overvaluation of the assets of the big bourgeoisie. To protect these from the threat of inflation, the bourgeois state adopts austerity measures at the expense of the working people and repressive measures to counter their protests and demands. It is widely known that merely one percent of the population own most of the world’s wealth, while they impoverish the rest.

The bourgeois state also engages in frenzied borrowing and has already generated the biggest kind of bubble that will be far more destructive than the previous types of bubbles. The irrationality of the capitalist system is manifested in the huge tax cuts for the big bourgeoisie, the graft and corruption that characterize the transactions of the state, the mounting debt service and ever rising military expenditures, while the social benefits are cut down for the working people who pay the most tax in the form of the withholding tax and the indirect taxes incorporated in the price of basic commodities.

The workers and peoples of the world must unite to fight for their rights and their welfare. They must aim for a fundamentally new and better world of people’s democracy and socialism against imperialism and reaction. All of them are suffering from escalating exploitation and oppression as a result of the ever worsening crises of the world capitalist system. The majority of the people suffer rising unemployment, underemployment and ever declining incomes and the so-called middle class is shrinking even in the imperialist countries.

The social conditions are far worse in the underdeveloped countries and are resulting in wider mass protests, armed conflicts of various sorts and revolutionary resistance. The imperialist powers find it easy to interfere in said countries and to unleash wars of aggression against them. They settle their contradictions at the expense of the people in the underdeveloped countries, but now they are increasingly forming blocs against each other, as the crisis of their own making drives them to struggle for a redivision of the world.

It is fine that the 31st ISA is providing its participants with an exposure program and a forum to inform them regarding the neoliberal attacks on wages and trade union rights in the Philippines. Thus, the international delegates can observe the situation and struggles of the Filipino workers, and they can exchange experiences in the spirit of mutual learning for the purpose of raising the level of struggle in various countries and the level of international solidarity.

The estimated population of the Philippines is now 107 million. The work force is 64 per cent of the population. The overwhelming majority of the people are under feudal and semifeudal exploitation. They are earn an average of less than 2 US dollars a day. The 12 million overseas contract workers represent some 20 per cent of the work force and show that the Philippine economy cannot employ them for the country’s own benefit and development and cannot keep them from separating from their families.

Philippine government statistics are notorious for understating unemployment and underemployment figures, which anomalously show that the work force in the Philippines is enjoying employment comparable to that in many developed countries or even better than that in several developed countries. Many of those considered employed do household chores for their own families, are casuals or odd jobbers in the service, agricultural and industrial sectors of the economy or have stopped looking for work and are excluded from accounting by random samplers of the government.

Among those employed, there is a wide gap between the minimum wage and the basic cost of living. Metro Manila is supposed to offer the highest minimum wage in the country, which is PHP466 or USD 10.50 per working day. But the amount needed daily by an average family to live decently is estimated to be PHP1,086 or USD 24.50 in August 2014. In the provinces, the daily minimum wage is far lower than the cost of living..

Under the banner of the Kilusang Mayo Uno, public-sector workers have been outstanding in launching campaigns to demand a national minimum wage of PHP16,000 or USD 363 and the banning of contractual employment. The campaigns seek to unite all workers in pushing back the neoliberal attacks on the minimum wage and bring the minimum wage to the level of adequate and dignified subsistence of the worker’s family.

The extreme exploitation of the workers in the Philippines is made possible by the repression of workers’ rights, particularly in the form of harassment and retrenchment of union officials, filing of trumped-up charges, violent dispersal of strikes, and murder and enforced disappearance of trade-union organizers and mass activists.

The use of state terrorism in favor of foreign monopoly enterprises, big compradors and landlords against the workers and peasants has served to strengthen the will of the people to resist through every possible legal means. Thus, the KMU and other mass organizations have been established and have won brilliant victories in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people to fight for their national democratic rights.

But the use of state terrorism has also made legal political activity impossible for an increasing number of people, and has driven them to join the armed revolution. The people’s war has resulted in the establishment of the people’s democratic government under the leadership of the revolutionary party of the proletariat. This government has an ever growing people’s army and mass organizations for the basic exploited classes and other patriotic and rogressive sectors.

Where it is strong, the armed revolutionary movement has been able to stop the worst forms of exploitation and oppression, and has made possible better working and living conditions for the industrial and farm workers. It has undertaken land reform for the benefit of the peasants and has carried out various social programs for the benefit of entire communities of the working people.

The social programs involve public education, self-organization, raising production, health and sanitation, self-defense, cultural upliftment, and settlement of disputes among the people. Through their revolutionary education and social practice, the people learn to fight for and realize a truly independent, democratic, socially just, progressive and peaceful Philippines liberated from imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.###
 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

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May Day 2015

Solidarity Message
International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) Philippines Chapter

Warmest greetings of solidarity from the Philippines to all workers and peoples on the celebration of International Labor Day 2015!

 We take this occasion to thank the global solidarity and mass support to save at the last hour the life of our compatriot Mary Jane Veloso.  We hope to clear her name before the state authorities in Indonesia and seek justice not only against the international drug syndicates who victimized her but also against the exploitative system which continues to breed poverty, oppression and this modern slavery.

 We also take this occasion to extend our call for immediate relief to the people of Nepal.  Just before the killer earthquake, the workers of Nepal went on a general strike for a constitution by national consensus.

 The capitalist world knows only money and profit – at the expense of both man and nature.  We only have our solidarity and mass struggles to assert our collective welfare and rights.  The worker’s union and the strike movement remain as powerful weapons to defend our working and living conditions. Democratic mass actions have foiled imperialist wars, intervention, aggression and the destruction of our means for human existence.

 We congratulate the oil workers in the United States for carrying out the largest national strike since 1980.  They have stood up against such corporate giants as Royal Dutch Shell, BP, and other companies. As they struggle for an industry-wide contract, workers and protesters from New York to Los Angeles are demanding for a minimum wage of $15 an hour from the federal minimum of $7.25. Protests came not only for wages but for justice such as the most recent death of Freddie Gray following recent killings of several black men at the hands of white policemen.

 We laud the workers in Europe fighting against austerity cuts, labor market reforms, unemployment, anti-migrant measures, as well as for their political rights.  Among them are the general strikes of workers in Italy, air traffic controllers in France, public sector workers in Belgium, social workers in Germany, airport staff in Finland, college staff in the UK, Dutch oil storage workers, Norwegian teachers, and Czech auto workers among others.

 In the Middle East, we commend the public-sector strike in the Gaza Strip, the protests against the demolition of Palestinian homes in Israel, the heroic struggles of the Kurdish people in Syria and Iraq, and the continuing democratic struggles in the Arab world.

 In Latin America, we praise the worker’s general strikes in Argentina over income tax, in Brazil against the liberalization of outsourcing, and in Haiti against the UN occupation.  We support the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela led by Nicolas Maduro in fighting US intervention.  We acclaim the efforts of the Latin American workers to build ALBA and their own regional integration free from the neoliberal impositions of the IMF-WB-WTO and monopoly corporations. The normalization of US ties with Cuba is but a by-product of the growing isolation of the US in the region.

 In Africa, we congratulate the strikes of mine workers and nursesin Ghana over wages, the judicial workers and miners’ strike in Nigeria over unpaid wages and bonuses, and the general strike in Guinea for a fourfold increase in pay. The efforts against the spread of Ebola were helped greatly by the international solidarity of Cuba and Venezuela.

 In Asia, we praise the most recent general strike and protest called by the Korean workers in fighting back the Park Geun-hye government’s anti-worker policies.  We also note the state-wide general strike in West Bengal, India. In China, strikes are also on the rise: from 656 in 2013, more than doubling at 1,378 last year.  This year, some 40,000 workers ofthe Adidas and Nike supplier in China went on strike to demand social insurance payments.  In Vietnam, shoe workers for Converse and Reebok also went on strike. As many as 90,000 workers protested the government policy on social insurance coverage.

 As Filipino workers struggle for a national minimum wage and against the “contractualization” of labor, we also fight back against the corruption, the semifeudal backwardness and the subservience of the Aquino government to US imperialism.  We remain defiant over repressive attacks which killed, abducted and forcibly disappeared union organizers and activists. Their lives will never be forgotten.

 The US strategic pivot to Asia only seeks to strengthen its own vested interests in the region and the world.  However, it is becoming even more isolated before more and more peoples and nations.  The working-class struggles are reaping more and more victories. Imperialism and local reaction everywhere will be defeated.

 We celebrate May Day today.  We celebrate a brighter life for tomorrow.

Assert workers’ economic and democratic rights!
 

Fight for social equality, justice and freedom!

Down with imperialism!

Long live International Labor Day!

Long live international solidarity! 

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PAHAYAG NG PAKIKIISA SA KILUSANG PAGGAWA
SA TIMOG KATAGALUGAN
Ika-112 Pandaidigna Araw ng Paggawa, Mayo Uno 2015

Ni Prop. Jose Maria Sison
Tagapangulo, International League of Peoples' Struggle

Ikinararangal at ikinagagalak namin sa International League of Peoples' Struggle na magpahayag ng pakikiisa sa Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU) sa okasyon ng Pandaigdigang Araw ng Paggawa.

Lagi naming hinahangaan ang pagpanday ng PAMANTI-KMU sa apoy ng pakikibaka magmula sa kasagsagan ng represyon sa mga manggagawa sa panahon ng pasistang diktadura ni Marcos hanggang sa ngayon. Nananatili kayo bilang pinakamalawak at pinamilitanteng alyansa ng mga unyon, asosasyon at pederasyong pangmanggagawa sa rehiyon.

Tanyag sa Pilipinas at sa buong daigdig ang inyong katatagan at militansya sa paglaban para mga karapatan ng uring manggagawa sa trabaho at para sa kapakanan nila sa trabaho at sa pamumuhay. Pinupuri namin ang inyong mga pagsisikap at mga tagumpay sa tungkuling edukahin, organisahin, at pakilusin ang mga manggagawa para isulong ang pakikibaka para sa makatarungang sahod, kaseguruhan sa trabaho, at karapatang pantao at paggawa.

Nakikiisa at sumusuporta kami sa inyong panawagan at tema: “Panagutin at patalsikin ang rehimeng US-Aquino sa laganap na kontraktwalisasyon, militarisasyon, at kahirapan! Itayo ang Konseho ng Mamamayan! Makibaka para sa pambansang industriyalisasyon, tunay na repormang agraryo, at kapayapaan! Hawanin ang landas tungo sa isang sosyalistang lipunan!”

Nasa balangkas ito ng programa ng Kilusang Mayo Uno at ng sambayanang Pilipino para sa pambansang kalayaan at demokrasya. Alinsunod sa inyong sosyalistang perspektiba, tinutugon ninyo ang hamon sa mga manggagawa bilang namumunong uri sa pamamagitan ng pagsasabuhay at pagsasapraktika sa mga turo ng Limang Dakilang Guro.

Nakikiisa at sumusuporta kami sa inyong pagharap at paglaban sa ibayong pagpapahirap sa ilalim ng sistemang kapitalista, laluna sa imperyalistang patakaran ng neoliberalismo na sukdulang panghuhuthott ng supertubo mula sa lakas paggawa sa pamamagitan ng sadyang pagpapababa ng sahod, kontraktwalisasyon, kawalan ng kaseguruhan sa trabaho, kawalan ng mga sosyal na benepisyo at matinding pagsupil sa karapatang mag-unyon at mag-aklas.

Instrumento ng malalaking kapitalistang dayuhan at lokal ang reaksyonaryong estado sa pagpapanatiili ng mababang pasahod, kawalan ng benepisyo sosyal, pandudurog sa unyon, iligal at biglaang pagsasara ng kumpanya at/o pagtatanggal at pagkakaso sa mga unyonista, diskriminasyon, pagmamaltrato, at pamamaslang ng mga lider-obrero.

Samantalang pinaliliit ng estado ang sahod at pinalalaki ang disempleo, pinatataas naman nito ang presyo ng mga batayang pangangailangan, ginagawang pribado ang mga institusyong publiko gaya ng mga ospital at unibersidad, ipinagkakait ang tulong sa panahon ng kalamidad, pinalulubha ang korupsyon ng mga opisyal na sibil at militar at bulag na sinusunod ang mga utos ng mga Kanong imperyalista hanggang isubo mismo ng pasintu-sintong Aquino ang sarili niyang mga tauhan sa tiyak na kamatayan sa Mamasapano.

Hindi lamang mga manggagawa ang pinagsasamantalahan at inaapi ng reaksyonaryong estado at ng rehimen US-Aquino. Pinapahirapan din ang mga magsasagaka at mga nasa panggitnang saray. Garapal at laganap ang paglabag sa mga karapatang tao sa mga operasyon ng militar, pulis at paramilitar sa ilalim ng Oplan Bayanihan. Gayunman, tumitindi ang kapasyahan ng malawak na masang Pilipino sa Timog Katagalugan na ipagtanggol ang kanilang mga karapatan hanggang mangibabaw sa mga halimaw na nagsasamantala at nang-aapi sa kanila.

Sobrang-sobra na ang pagiging papet, korap, mapagsamantala, makahayop at sinungaling ang rehimeng Aquino at pangulo nito. Nararapat na higpitan ng uring manggagawa at sambayanang Pilipino ang pagkakaisa at sariling pagpapalakas para itakwil at ibagsak ang kamuhi-muhing rehimeng ito. Ito ay kinakailangan sa mahabang pakikibaka para ibagsak ang naghaharing sistema ng malaking komprador at asendero at kamtin ang ganap na tagumpay ng demokratikong rebolusyon ng bayan laban sa imperyalismo, pyudalismo at burukrata-kapitalismo.

Mabuhay ang PAMANTIK-KMU
Ibagsak ang bulok na rehimeng US-Aquino!
Mabuhay ang uring manggagawa!
Isulong ang rebolusyong Pilipino!
Mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino!

 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
           
     
 
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Media Release
01 May 2015

Labor Day 2015 further shows Aquino is anti-worker – KMU

Judging from Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s actions this Labor Day, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno said today that the chief executive is further exposing himself as an enemy of Filipino workers.

The labor group condemned Aquino over his government’s statement that there won’t be any announcement of a wage hike this day, contrary to the customary practice of previous presidents.

KMU said Aquino chose to spend Labor Day in Cebu City in order to escape the big protests in Metro Manila which were further fuelled by his government’s attempt to grab credit for the delay in the execution of Mary Jane Veloso.

It also said that Aquino is so hated by workers, even labor groups, including the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkai1sa, who for the past four years have been holding dialogues with him have announced that they won’t be attending such a dialogue this year.

“Refusing to hike wages, escaping workers’ protests, a failure in his attempt to grab credit for the delay in Mary Jane’s execution, and shunned even by erstwhile allies. That’s the picture of Aquino this Labor Day, a picture of an anti-worker president,” said Lito Ustarez, KMU vice-chairperson.

The labor leader said that workers have every reason to demand and expect a wage hike this Labor Day despite the announcement of a wage hike last April. He said the meager wage hike was approved in order to try to appease workers and Filipinos who were demanding that Aquino be held accountable for the bloodbath in Mamasapano last January 25.

“Even with the P15.00 wage hike last April, the Metro Manila minimum wage, the highest in the country, is still a far cry from being decent. Workers still demand and expect immediate relief in the form of a significant wage hike,” Ustarez added. 

In today’s Labor Day protests, KMU will call on the Filipino workers and people to oust Aquino, whom they depict as “Comman-death in Chief” in this year’s Labor Day mural for putting in danger the lives, livelihood and rights of Filipinos.

KMU, together with other organizations of private- and public-sector workers under broad campaign network All Workers’ Unity, is calling for the enactment of a National Minimum Wage in the amount of P16,000 monthly. 

Reference: Lito Ustarez, KMU vice-chairperson, 0908-6491992

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

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NEWS RELEASE

May 1, 2015

 

Reference: Kharlo Manano, Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concern Spokesperson; [09222953513]

 

Noynoy Aquino, ‘manhid at walang utang na loob’ sa manggagawang Pilipino

 

Sa paggunita ng Pandaigdigang Araw ng Paggawa, nanawagan ang SALINLAHI Alliance for Children’s Concerns sa pamahalaan na iangat ang kalagayan ng mga manggagawa sa bansa upang umalwan ang kalagayan at kinabukasan ng kanilang mga anak.

 

Ayon sa SALINLAHI, bunsod ng kawalan ng trabaho at mababang pasahod sa bansa, maraming bata’t kabataan ang nasasadlak sa matinding kagutuman, kahirapan at kawalan ng akses sa serbisyong panlipunan katulad ng edukasyon at kalusugan. ‘Sa Labor Force Survey (LFS) na isinagawa ng Enero ng kasalukuyang taon, tumaas sa 6.6% ang unemployment rate sa bansa kumpara sa 6% ng huling kwarto ng 2014. Samantala, ang minimum na sahod ay nakapako sa P481.00 lamang, ‘di hamak na napakababa kung ikukumpara sa napakalaking gastusin ng isang pamilya kada araw”  ani Kharlo Manano, tagapagsalita ng Salinlahi.

 

Giit ni Manano, ang kawalan ng pagbibigay importansya ng pamahalaan sa kagalingan ng mga manggagawa ay sukdulang pagkakait sa kanila na mabigyan ng magandang kinabukasan ang kanilang mga anak. “Kami ay lubhang naaalarma dahil pahirap nang pahirap ang buhay ng mga manggagawang Pilipino, patuloy na lumolobo ang bilang ng mga kabataang hindi nakatutuntong sa paaralan o napilitang huminto dahil dito. Tiyak na titindi pa ang krisis na kinakaharap nila sa patuloy na pagsirit ng mga presyo ng bilihin at yutilidad katulad ng kuryente na nakaambang tumaas ngayong Mayo’ dagdag pa ni Manano.

 

Kasabay naman nito, binansagan ng SALINLAHI si Pangulong Aquino bilang‘manhid at walang utang na loob’ sa mga manggagawa dahil imbes na tugunan nito ang kahilingan ng mga manggagawa na umento sa sahod, dagdag pahirap pa ang regalo nito sa darating na pasukan ngayong Hunyo dahil sa patuloy na implementasyon ng K-12. ‘Halos magkanda-kuba na nga ang mga magulang sa pagtatrabaho upang maitawid lang sa pag-aaral ang kanilang mga anak, ang sukli pa ng pamahalaan ay dagdag na pagpapahirap dahil sa mga dagdag gastusin dulot ng dalawa pang taong pag-aaral ng kanilang mga anak sa hayskul,’ sambit ni Manano.

 

Kaya naman, kasama ang mga manggagawa at kanilang pamilya, lumahok ang Salinlahi sa malakihang pagkilos sa araw ng paggawa upang makiisa sa panawagan na regular na trabaho at nakabubuhay na sahod. Dagdag pa, nakiisa din ang grupo sa panawagang magbitiw na si Noynoy Aquino dahil sa hindi niya pagkalinga sa interes ng mga maralitang pamilyang Pilipino.###

 

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Salinlahi Alliance for Children's Concerns
#90 J. Bugallon St.,
Barangay Bagumbuhay, Project 4,
1109 Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone: (63-2) 386-08-97
Email: 
salinlahialliancephils@gmail.com
www.salinlahiphilippines.org 

 

     
     
LIWASANG BONIFACIO
     
           
     
     
     

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#May1Fight  | “Bogus land reform, slave wages, force thousands of Mary Janes to leave country everyday”

 

Agricultural workers under the national federation Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) will join protest actions in Manila and other major cities all over the country to mark Labor Day today, May One.

 

Farm workers said that worsening neoliberal attacks against workers’ wages and livelihood under the Aquino regime drive thousands of our people to seek opportunities abroad only to fall into worse fates. UMA cites the case of Mary Jane Veloso, a sakada’s daughter who languised for five years on Indonesian death row due to government neglect.

 

Sakadas are seasonal sugar cane cutters or farm workers who migrate or are hauled by unscrupulous recruiters to haciendas or plantations during harvest and milling season.  

 

“Mary Jane Veloso’s story began in Aquino’s own backyard, Hacienda Luisita. The Veloso family suffered extreme poverty despite back-breaking work in sugarcane fields endured by her father, Cesar, and Cesar’s father, Emeterio. Bogus land reform and slave wages force thousands of Mary Janes to leave the country everyday,” said John Milton Lozande, Acting Chairperson of UMA.

 

“Even the very first Filipino migrant workers who wanted to escape poverty in our country ended up as farm workers who slaved for agricultural plantations abroad,” said Lozande.

 

Lozande is also secretary general of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) based in Negros. Farmworkers led by NFSW and other local multi-sectoral groups turned up in huge numbers for Labor Day protests which also criticized the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings held in Bacolod City from April 29-30.

 

Lozande said that unfair labor practices such as contractualization, labor-only contracting, union-busting, among others, are legitimized by the Aquino administration by pandering to anti-people neoliberal schemes prescribed by APEC and other imperialist tools such as the AFTA and the GATT-WTO.

 

UMA said that under the bogus Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), non-land transfer schemes such as the Stock Distribution Option (SDO) and various agribusiness venture agreements or AVAs, brokered with supposed agrarian reform beneficiaries in plantations and haciendas result in systemic landgrabbing, displacement and heightened peasant and worker unrest. These AVAs favor giant agricultural transnational corporations (TNCs), big landlords and bureaucrats.

 

“Agricultural workers remain the poorest of the rural poor under the landlord Aquino regime,” said Rudy Corpuz, Vice-Chairperson of the Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang-Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA).  

 

The Aquino government’s labor policies and bogus agrarian reform program also allow for oppressive wage schemes such as the pakyaw or the piece-rate wage scheme, a pay system common in vast plantations such as the Aquino-Cojuangcos’ controversial sugar estate in Tarlac.

 

In Hacienda Luisita, where Aquino’s land distribution scheme has become a dismal failure, the pakyaw rate remains at a measly P190 per ton of cut and hauled sugar cane. With a negligible amount as additional allowance, each cane cutter receives only P157 daily.

 

The minimum wage for non-plantation and plantation agricultural workers in Negros Occidental is P245-255, while in Bukidnon, the rates range from P279-P294 daily. In Negros Occidental where majority of sugar is produced, 95% receive only P500 – P1000 every 15 days. In Bukidnon, the real wage rate of male sugarcane workers in the region is at P100 per day, while their female counterparts get only P91.

 

Meanwhile, sugarcane planters and cutters for a bio-ethanol plantation in Isabela province suffer wages comparable to measly amounts received by Hacienda Luisita farmworkers before the SDO scheme was revoked. Workers receive daily wages as low as P11, according to UMAMI, UMA’s local affiliate in Isabela.

 

It is also expected that those working in the sugar industry would be paid even less this crop year as the tariff for imported sugar would go down to just 5% because of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA). Landlords and millers are expected to cut costs for them to be more competitive in the sugar market. In addition, most sugar mill workers are now contract workers with no security of tenure.

 

The new Sugarcane Industry Development Act (SIDA) recently signed by Aquino favors only the usual powerful sugar barons including his kin at Hacienda Luisita. “These greedy millers, plant
ers and their backers at the DOLE must also be investigated and prosecuted for corruption of millions of pesos worth of social amelioration bonuses (SAB) that they failed to distribute to farmworkers in sugarcane plantations,” said Lozande.   

 

The non-existence of a national minimum wage aggravates the dire situation of workers, especially in vast haciendas and agricultural plantations. Varying pay rates imposed by regional wage boards across the country are not even close to meet the needs of a typical working class family.

 

UMA stands in solidarity with workers, employees and other wage earners under the banner of militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and the alliance All Workers Unity in calling for a national minimum wage pegged at P16,000 a month.

 

“This demand enables workers’ wages to be nearer the family living wage,” said Corpuz at the KMU Labor Day protest in Manila.

 

Aside from NFSW in Negros, UMAMI in Isabela, and AMBALA in Tarlac, UMA member organizations include Kaisahan in Batangas, Ogyon in Bukidnon and PIGLAS-MAPAPI in Agusan del Sur.



Source Verification: Gi Estrada Media Officer  |   09166114181 

Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA)

uma.pilipinas@gmail.com   | @UMApilipinas on twitter

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  May 1, 2015

 

     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

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PRESS STATEMENT

For Reference: France Castro, 09204166441

                       Secretary General

 

Educators join Filipino workers’ call for a National Minimum Wage

 

Quezon City, Philippines – The Alliance of Concerned Teachers is one with the broad coalition of workers in the country, the All Workers Unity, in its call for a National Minimum Wage (NMW) of Php16,000 for both public and private sector workers.

 

“The current minimum wage in the National Capital Region (NCR), which is the highest in the entire country, only give the workers around Php11,000 a month for 24 days of work per month. This amount is less than half of the more than Php31,000 monthly cost of living in the country. Even the Php16,000 NMW is still below the cost of living but this will be much help to the workers,” said Ms. France Castro, secretary-general, Alliance of Concerned Teachers.

 

Late last year, different labor organizations formed the All Workers Unity (AWU) and forged a united call for a National Minimum Wage of Php16,000 for workers, Php25,000 for teachers and nurses, and Php50,000 for doctors.

 

“Based from the study of Ibon Foundation, the proposed NMW will only cut around 17% from the profit of private companies which only shows that the proposal is doable. For this to progress, our businessmen need only to lessen their greed. On the other hand, the government must also side with the workers and employees and heed their call for a living wage. The present pay scheme is making our country’s working class live below the poverty level. The government must show care for the workers, for without them, the businessmen in no way can accumulate profit,” stressed Ms. Castro.

 

“Part for our call for the NMW is the legislation of the Php25,000 entry pay for public school teachers. Our teachers are one of the lowest paid professionals in the country and are one of the lowest paid teachers through Asia. This situation resulted in the migration of teachers abroad for better pay. In the country, teachers are pushed to do multiple of jobs in order for them to make both ends meet. As a matter of fact, in order for us to send our children to school, we still have to apply for a loan to pay their tuition and other school fees. Like the workers, teachers call for a pay hike is a must that the state must address immediately,” ended Ms. Castro.
 

ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TEACHERS - PHILIPPINES
2/F Teachers' Center Building, Mines st. corner Dipolog st., Brgy. VASRA, Quezon City
Tel.Fax:     (+63 2) 453 9116, (+63 2) 426 2238
E-mail:      
act_philippines@yahoo.comactphilippines@gmail.com

 

     
           
     
     
     

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PRESS RELEASE

MAY 1, 2015

 

Labor day: Youth group condemns Aquino's anti-worker administration; calls for junking of K-12

  

Youth organization Anakbayan condemned the administration of President Benigno Aquino III and his "anti-worker" policies today as they marched to celebrate the International Worker's day.

 

"Since the first day Aquino stepped in as the president of the Philippines he has done nothing ito improve workers conditions, but instead have worsened poverty, oppression, and exploitation. Aquino has been rejecting workers' calls for a significant wage hike, the junking of contractual employment, the junking of labor export policy and a stop to trade-union repression,” said Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan national chairperson.

 

Anakbayan together with the workers led by Kilusang Mayo Uno (May 1st movement) and other progressive organizations started their protest action on Moriones, Pureza, Blumentritt, Quirino, and Espana. Then the organizations marched to Liwasang Bonifacio to conduct a centralized program, and then proceeded to Mendiola.

 

"Aquino's implementation of neoliberal policies worsened unemployment, contractualization and poverty. The K-12 program will further worsen these,” he added.

 

Crisostomo cited think tank Ibon foundation's data showing the Filipino youth (ages 14-34) as majority of unemployed Filipinos.

 

“As of January 2015, Filipino youth comprises 78.9% of unemployed Filipinos under the Aquino administration. From the 78.9% unemployed youth, 3 out of 10 (33.4%) had a college education, with at least 20.4% actually having graduated, and 7 of 10 unemployed youth were high-school or college-educated. These data shows that Aquino as failed to generate jobs for Filipino youth, and therefore pushing them to poverty,” said Crisostomo.

 

Crisostomo said Aquino's labor export policy aided by his K-12 program would produce more cheap labor for export.

 

“K-12 aims to produce more graduates at a younger age which will compete for scarce jobs thereby increasing the unemployed and pushing down wages. Instead of solving the problem of joblessness by establishing a national industrialization program that would generate jobs for every Filipino, he is busy sending out Filipino workers out of the country exposing them to danger, oppression, and exploitation," he said.

 

The youth organizations made a life size 'for export boxes' that encased newly graduated Filipino youth ready to be exported to symbolize how Aquino treats Filipino workers.

 

Crisostomo pointed out the contrast between how Aquino treats the United States and how he treats Filipino workers.

 

“Aquino maltreats Filipino workers, even though without them our country would eventually collapse, while he obeys the whims of the US without question nor doubt. He is even willing to stick his neck out and use every card he has in order to defend the US, a blatant example of his defense on behalf of US is how his administration muddles the fact that there is US involvement on the Mamasapano bloodbath,” he said.

 

Anakbayan pledged to continue the fight for the approval of the P16,000 monthly national minimum wage and an end to contractualization, labor export policy, and the K-12 program.

 

"We call on all of the Filipino youth, especially the workers to join the struggle of our workers. It is only right to express our outrage and anger towards the anti-people Aquino government. We should fight for P16,000 national minimum wage, junk contractualization, junk K12 and oust Aquino,” he concluded. 

 

REFERENCE: Vencer Crisostomo, 09399207114

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Website: anakbayan.org
Facebook.com/anakbayan
Twitter: @anakbayan_ph

Anakbayan is the comprehensive mass organization of the Filipino youth, advocating genuine national independence and democracy as a solution to the nation's problems. It is open to anyone from 13 to 35 years old, and currently has a 20,000-strong membership across the Philippines and in several cities in the U.S, Canada and Australia.

It is not a partylist group and is in no way affiliated with the pro-Aquino group Akbayan.

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     

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1 May 2015
PRESS RELEASE
Reference: Marc Lino Abila, National President (0916-633-5804)

College editors salute work force, call for 16K wage

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) hailed the efforts of the work force on May 1. Considering their pivotal role in the economic production, the Guild cites the workers’ persistence to sustain their family needs amid poverty exacerbated by contractualization, labor export policies, and unjust compensation.     

“We owe everything to the workers of the world. It is only fitting that they be enshrined with a just and secured working condition. It is tragic fact that the working populace fall in the poverty bracket. And it is worthy of condemnation that the Aquino administration plays deaf with the urgent concerns of the working class,” CEGP National President Marc Lino Abila said.

The 83-year old Guild demanded an the P16,000 minimum wage per month, both in the public and private sector.

 

“The 16K wage is a big step toward the improvement to the browbeaten economic condition of the working class. For a company that earns excessively and for a government that allocates funds for PDAF and DAP, this minimum wage is an imperative. Reluctance to this proposal, only means corporate greed and governmental abandonment,” Abila reasoned.  

The Guild also called to prevent another Mary Jane in the labor sector.

“Labor export policies must come to an end. Filipinos are humans not export products. The Aquino administration should make itself busy by creating local jobs that offer just compensation and workplace. It is an enraging paradox that the government itself ushers conditions that directs workers to go overseas,” Abila explained.

Abila has foreseen the K-12 curriculum as a step to expand the labor export policies. It is structured to condition the Filipino youth to be labor export prospects. He also noted that the offered specializations in the senior high school are patterned from the labor demands of the first world countries.     

“In K-12, the youth is not educated. The youth is packaged like a commodity,” Abila commented.

Furthermore, the Guild demanded to stabilize the workers’ tenure by trashing contractualization. It also urged to the government to have aggressive moves to protect the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).

“As future workers of the country, this fight is also our fight. Let us not allow to be dehumanized in the workplace. Let us not allow to be mere export products. Let us tear down the Aquino government that does not heed to the demands of the working class,” Abila ended. 

CEGP is the oldest, broadest and only-existing alliance of tertiary student publications. 

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"To write is already to choose."

College Editors Guild of the Philippines
Mailing Address
: Rm. 305 National Press Club Bldg., Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila 1002
Email
cegphils@gmail.com Media Emailcegp.newsdesk@gmail.com
Facebook
fb.com/CEGPNationalOffice
Twitter and Instagram
: @CEGPhils
Hotline Number
: (+63)928-980-2646
 

     
     
           
           
     
     
     


VIDEO CLIPS

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Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Fernando Ka Pando Hicap
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Gabriela Partylist Rep. Luz Ilagan
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Singing The Internationale
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Singing Martsa ng Bayan
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