ILO chief dared: Act vs workers’ rights’ violations

LABOR center Kilusang Mayo Uno dared the the International Labor Organization’s chief, who is scheduled to leave the country today after his visit, to do something against the Aquino government’s violations of workers’ rights, saying the government is chiefly responsible for the lack of decent jobs in the country.

Guy Ryder, ILO director-general, already observed that despite the Aquino government’s claims of economic growth, the Philippines lags behind many countries in terms of providing decent work.

“The sad state of workers’ rights in the country demand that the ILO director-general, and the ILO as a whole, speak up and act against the government’s violations of these rights,” Labog said.

“Workers’ rights to a living wage and job security and to unionize and strike have all been attacked by the Aquino government. This government has implemented major policies that trampled on these rights,” he added.

“Three of our national leaders have been slapped with trumped-up charges this year. Instead of respecting workers’ basic rights, the government is attacking those who are fighting for workers’ rights,” he said.

The labor center cited the Aquino government’s refusal to implement a significant wage hike, its legalization of contractual employment via Department Order 18-A Series of 2011, and its refusal to junk the Labor Secretary’s power to assume jurisdiction over labor disputes.

It also cited the implementation of the Two-Tiered Wage System this year which has meant, in the Southern Tagalog region, the imposition of a floor wage of P255 which is lower than P337, the highest wage level in the region.

Three of KMU’s National Council members and one of its regional leaders have been slapped with false charges this year, all of whom have been ordered arrested by the courts.

Roy Velez (KMU-National Capital Region chairperson), Amelita Gamara (KMU-NCR deputy secretary-general) and Ronald Ian Evidente (KMU-Negros spokesperson) have all been charged of crimes in connection with activities of rebel group New People’s Army.

Meanwhile, Hermenegildo Marasigan (vice-chair of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan, KMU’s Southern Tagalog chapter) was charged in relation to an alleged scuffle that broke out in an anti-militarization protest in Laguna.

“We dare the ILO chief to speak up and do something against the Aquino government’s grave violations of workers’ rights. It’s the government that’s chiefly responsible for the dearth of decent work in the country,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

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