KMU hits DOLE for hyping temporary jobs

LABOR center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned the Labor Department today for hyping the number of available jobs this Christmas season, saying temporary and low-paying jobs should not be celebrated and the Aquino government has failed to provide decent employment for Filipinos.

KMU said the Department of Labor and Employment, in saying that “Christmas season is the season for job creation,” is scraping the barrel, maximizing the smallest positive signs in the country’s bleak employment situation for propaganda purposes.

“The availability of temporary and low-paying jobs this Christmas is not something to brag about. The Aquino government is scraping the barrel in trying to hide from view the chronic unemployment in the country,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“Instead of bragging about these kinds of jobs, the Aquino government should generate employment in the country by abandoning its current approach to job creation, which depends heavily on foreign investors,” he added.

KMU condemned the Aquino government for sticking with its approach to job generation, that of attracting foreign investors, which has meant the implementation of a Cheap Labor Policy.

The government’s Cheap Labor Policy, said the labor group, consists of pressing down workers’ wages and benefits, promoting contractual employment, and curtailing workers’ rights to unionize and strike.

“The Aquino government persists in attracting foreign investors, its main approach to generating jobs in the country, and is trying to prettify this approach by hyping what it sees as minor improvements,” he added.

“To attract foreign investors, the government has been offering cheap and repressed labor. This approach has failed to generate sufficient employment for Filipinos and has merely caused greater poverty and hunger among workers,” he said.

The labor center said the government is trying to cover up the chronic unemployment in the country, which, according to government statistics, increased to 6.8 per cent last October from 6.4 per cent a year earlier.

“Unemployment will surely rise in the first months of 2013. While economic activity related to the 2013 elections may slightly increase employment a few months before the elections, the employment situation in the country remains fundamentally bleak,” Labog said.

“If it is serious in providing decent employment to all Filipinos, the Aquino government should implement genuine land reform and nationalist industrialization programs. An employment program that is not dependent on foreign investors, however, is farthest from the mind of Pres. Aquino,” he added.

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