CEGP lauds heightened militancy of Filipino workers across the country

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) joins Filipino workers in fighting the anti-worker and anti-people policies of the fascist Duterte administration. Currently, Filipino workers in Zambales, Bulacan, Laguna and Muntinlupa are holding their strikes against contractualization, repressive policies and inhumane working conditions.

“Filipino workers are raising their militancy to fight capitalists exploitation for super profit. But instead of heeding their just demands, the Duterte regime alongside businessmen cohorts are sending police and military to harass and halt the legitimacy of their struggle,” said Jose Mari Callueng, CEGP national president.

Currently, Filipino workers’ salaries have flunked to an unimaginable level only to rev up the interests of foreign investors. Minimum wage in Metro Manila is at Php 512 per day, while regional wages drop even lower in several provinces in the country. This is not even half of the Php 1,168 standard family living wage needed daily to support a family of six.

Filipino workers have long carried the burden of anti-worker and anti-people policies in the history of the country. In February, Duterte said he was thinking to compromise on labor contractualization and admitted that he could not force businesses to provide all benefit to workers. This only means that Duterte only favors the heeds and demands of oligarchs and big business capitalists instead of listening to the legitimate demands of Filipino workers.

Workers under fire

In NutriAsia in Marilao, Bulacan, one of the country’s biggest factories of condiments, workers are still in a stand-off in their fight for regularization and just wage.

Of the total 1,400 workers in NutriAsia only about 100 are regular workers. The rest are contractuals. They earn P380 for eight hours of work. An overtime of additional four hours is paid P240. All in all, a contractual NutriAsia worker earns only P619 in 12 hours of work, overtime pay included. In fact, 20 workers were arrested, one of which is a minor.

Just this week, contractual employees of Pepsi Cola Products Philippines, Inc. held a picket in front of the Muntinlupa soda plant to protest the halting of production operations and the company’s refusal to let them work. 1,000 contractual workers are still now allowed to work since Monday, July 11.

Early this June, workers in Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Inc. in Zambales continue to slam the dismal occupational and safety standards observed in the shipyard which has resulted in the death of several workers. Their contractual labor scheme have also resulted in mass layoffs and low wage payments.

Last May, 131 long-time contractual workers of Middleby Phils. Corp., a company located inside Laguna Technopark Industrial Enclave, launched a sitdown strike against the company’s threat of termination and refusal to regularize them.

“While fighting for their legitimate demands, workers are suppressed by the police and military in asserting their right to unionize and strike. This is a case seen in all of the strikes launched by workers in the mentioned enclaves and factories,” said Callueng.

What Karl Marx said in the last century remains true until today: Labor produces marvels for the rich but it produces deprivation for the worker. It produces palaces, but hovels for the worker. It produces beauty. but deformity for the worker. It replaces labor by machines, but it throws one section of the workers back to barbaric labor, and it turns the remainder into machines.

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines supports the struggle of Filipino workers in their call to end contractualization and to fight for a national minimum wage. Duterte is only as strong as his bawdiness and vulgarity. He cannot halt the growing resistance, anger and disgust of the Filipino people against his tyrannical and murderous regime.

The oldest, broadest, and only-existing intercollegiate alliance of student publications in the Asia-Pacific | Est. 1931 #DefendPressFreedom #EndStateFascism

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