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8 October, 2014IndustriALL affiliates in the Philippines held a joint rally in front of the Department of Labour and Employment in Manila on 7 October demanding to STOP Precarious Work and halt the spread of contractualization on the World Day for Decent Work (WDDW).

Some 14 IndustriALL affiliates in the Philippines mobilized in Manila in front of the Department of Labour and Employment on 7 October to demand a STOP to Precarious Work and contractualization.

Some 13 trade unions and trade union federations, affiliated to IndustriALL showed force mobilizing to raise a unified call urging government to address the problem of precarious work in the country. Outside the premises of the Department of Labour and Employment, union leaders handed over a letter with clear demands calling:

  • for a stakeholders’ sectoral dialogue involving trade unions in the manufacturing sector;
  • to review existing llegislationto ensure security of tenure of workers;
  • to review existing government regulations on contracting and subcontracting;
  • to clearly distinguish and define core and non-core business functions, and for the government to come up with an administrative issuance to address the issue within the context of existing laws and jurisprudence, and to;
  • monitor the use of agency outsourcing of core business functions.

This was one of the biggest demonstrations by IndustriALL affiliates in the Phillippines.

“Leaders strongly send the message to the minister that precarious work in all its forms must stop as it undermines workers’ rights, their pay, their working and living conditions. Workers who are trapped under these conditions often have little or no chance at all to join a union and no chance to bargain collectively on their terms and conditions of employment”

Was the call of union leaders on the day of action to STOP Precrious Work.

This message prompted the government to engage with IndustriALL in the coming sectoral specific consultation process in framing up a clear policy to arrest the spread of precarious and vulnerable employment.

In Laguna province the Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines (MWAP) organized a number of activities highlighting the issue of precarious work.

Around 70 motorcycles participated in a motorcade that started in Paseo, Sta. Rosa and ended in Balibago Complex. Other protesters in later joined the motorcyclists. 

Balibago Complex is one of the busiest sections in Laguna, thus holding a program there made a maximum impact in informing the general public about the issue of precarious work and its effects on the workers and the society in general.

The MWAP distributed flyers calling for an end to the spread of contract labour and unsafe workplaces, and the right to organize.

In a statement, MWAP urged workers to “fight contractualization” they continued and emphasised that “it is the right of every worker to have a regular job with decent wages that is enough to sustain him/her and his/her family’s needs as well as ensure that s/he can continue to work and contribute in society’s development. “

The struggle against contractualization and the desire to live a decent and humane life is a struggle for social justice,

said MWAP President Reden Alcantara.

MWAP also said that workers should celebrate the victories they have achieved in their struggle for workers’ rights. 

Let us celebrate our victories in organizing unions that genuinely serve the interests of workers, our victories in forging collective bargaining agreements that improve workers’ wages and benefits, and our victories in fighting for regularization of contractual workers,

Alcantara added.

From these victories, let us get inspiration and important lessons to further strengthen our rank and intensify our struggle in creating a society that puts premium to the workers,

he concluded.

MWAP urged the Philippine government to end precarious work and to ensure that all workers  benefit from decent working conditions. These include the granting of substantial wage increases, regular jobs, secure employment, safe working conditions and respect for the fundamental rights of workers.

All 14 IndustriALL affiliates in the Philippines participated in a social dialogue session initiated by the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) on the WDDW.

When commenting on this collective effort the Trade Federation of Garments, Textile, Footwear, Plastic, Leather and Allied Industries (TF2-FFW) said the unions are very positive about the outcome and both parties manifested an intent to continue with social dialogue in the near future.