NO TO CONTRACT LABOR: Rallyists protest against contractualization in the country.
MANILA, Philippines — The labor sector is expecting President Rodrigo Duterte to sign the executive order on contractualization today, April 16.
According to Associated Labor Unions- Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) spokesperson Alan Tanjusay, they already submitted to Malacañang last Friday the draft EO wherein they have already agreed on certain exemptions rather than a total ban on contractualization in the country.
The draft EO lists a number of jobs that can be exempted from “endo,” (end of contract) 555, or seasonal and contractual schemes of employment.
“Binago namin ang aming posisyon from total ban to provide him some exemptions. Natapos na yung executive order na nagbibigay ng exemptions kung kaya’t malakas ang loob namin na katanggap-tanggap na ito kay Pangulong Duterte,” he said.
(We changed our position from total ban to provide him some exemptions. The executive order that allows exemptions has been finalized that is why we are confident that President [Rodrigo] Duterte would find it acceptable.)
Tanjusay believes that the order would benefit around 28 million contractual workers in the country, primarily those who work in malls and in the food service sector. However, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he is still unsure if the President would sign the EO.
Should the Chief Executive refuse to do so, he could still certify a proposal on the matter to Congress.
“Hindi tayo sigurado na pipirmahan niya,” Bello noted.
The labor group said the EO is their last position and the President’s decision is a vital consideration in their proposed program for Labor Day on May 1. — UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines — The largest union of workers in the country expressed concern over possible massive retrenchments in the advent of the “new normal” in the labor sector as the crisis on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues.
Consequently, the Associated Labor Union – Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) is brewing a massive protest rally on May 1, Labor Day — not on the streets but online.
Given the restrictions under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), ALU-TUCP Spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said they will use the technology to raise their concerns to the national government.
“Gamitin (natin) ang social media platform para i-boost ang morale ng ating manggagawa [We will utilize the social media to boost the morale of our workers],” he said.
“Siguro may tatayo sa kalye mga 10 o 20 na may mga social distancing, nakamaskara at may mga placards. Iyon ay ibi-video, iyon ay lilitratuhan at ipo-post sa social media, [There may be about 10 or 20 persons who will go out in the streets but with social distancing, face masks and placards. That will be captured in video, pictures and posted on social media],” he added.
Tanjusay noted that more than 5 million workers have been affected since the implementation of the ECQ due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that these workers cannot be certain if they will be able to return to their previous employment given the impact of the health crisis on their respective employers.
The crisis is also seen to cause contractual employment to soar as more and more employers are opting for ‘work-from-home’ arrangements which will save them money as they will no longer pay for transportation allowances and other employment benefits such as SSS and PagIbig premiums.
“Kung work-from-home ka, babayaran lang kita kung ano ang inutos ko sa’yo, [If you are working from home, I will only pay you for a specific job that I asked you to do,]” Tanjusay said.
“For example, kung nag-utos ko sayo na magtrabaho ka lang ng 3 oras, babayaran lang kita ng 3 oras hindi 8 hours, [For example, I asked you to work for 3 hours, I will pay you for your 3-hour work, not for a regular 8-hour job,]” he added.
ALU-TUCP has a pending request for wage increase in Congress following suspension of public hearing in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)
PASIG CITY, Philippines – The twelve Regent Foods Corporation workers who were detained following a violent dispersal of their picket line last week posted bail on Monday (November 18).
The workers held a picket on November 9 at a compound in Pasig City to appeal against the alleged contractualization problem, low salary, unfair labor practice, and violation of their right to form a union.
A group of armed guards and police, however, arrived at the scene where the violent dispersal ensued.
Twenty workers and two members of a labor group were arrested. Also arrested was a tricycle driver who just happened to be in the area.
Regent Foods charged them with slight physical injuries, resistance, and disobedience on top of alarm.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) the labor dispute between Regent Foods and its workers is pending before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).
“There are times na medyo mahirap iyong diskusyon pero bahagi po ng proseso eh. Ang sa amin naman po eventually, magkasundo po sila at sa tingin po namin iyon po iyong gustong patunguhan ng 2 partido,” DOLE Asec. Benjo Beñavidez said.
Meanwhile, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto stated in his Facebook post that he requested Regent Foods to withdraw the charges it filed against the 23 workers.
Regent Foods owners Irwin and Susan Lee asked the local executive to give them time to consult their board members.
The company lawyers, however, informed Sotto that they will not withdraw the case, in which the young mayor said they will exert everything in their power to free the other 11 detained workers.
Mayor Vico early on Monday (November 18) met with the union leaders and the relatives of the detained workers to discuss how the 11 still detained workers will be freed.
Labor group ALU-TUCP condemned the violent dispersal committed by the security agencies against the workers.
They said it is the security guards the must be detained and not the picketing workers.
“Wala hong mandato, wala silang authority, wala silang kapangyarihan sa gobyerno na idisperse iyong mga manggagawa na legal na nagpipiket at nagpapahayag ng kanilang grievances sa management,” said Alan Tanjusay of ALU-TUCP. (from the report of Mai Bermudez) /mbmf
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will present to President Rodrigo Duterte the new version of the Anti-Endo or the Security of Tenure (SOT) Bill before August ends.
The new bill is seen as a clearer and more solid version of the one that was vetoed by the President last July.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the new version has a more detailed demarcation of the jobs that are allowed to be outsourced so that the coverage of the measure seen to stop contractualization in the country will be clearly defined.
The new SOT Bill has four employee classifications: regular, probationary, seasonal, and project-based.
The bill provides that only seasonal and project-based employees are allowed to be outsourced or be employed on a contractual basis.
Seasonal employees are those hired during peak season for certain work types or those who are employed during “ber months for holiday sales and longer mall hours.
Project-based employees, on the other hand, are laborers in construction firms with projects that have time-frames to follow.
However, retail industries that need sales clerks for their businesses to run are not allowed to outsource or get employees on a contractual basis.
Sales clerks must be directly hired by these establishments and must eventually be regularized.
Bello said, “you cannot outsource a service if it is directly related to the principal business of the employer. As to whether the service is directly connected or not is subject to a determination by a tripartite body.”
The labor secretary explained that the Anti-Endo Bill that the president is pushing for must be beneficial for both the employers and employees. (from the report of Aiko Miguel) /mbmf
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