Unions join forces in Philippines to fight contractualisation
Union centres have joined forces in the Philippines to fight the Duterte administration’s war on workers. A rally on 15 March 2018 in Manila saw key union centres; including APHEDA’s partners Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) join forces. They were demanding that the Duterte government stop stalling on its election commitment and take definitive action to end out of control short-term contracts (known as “contractualisation”).
They released a joint statement (signed by Nagkaisa and KMU) stating:
“It’s about time the President makes good on his vow to end contractualization and stay true to his commitment to us during our last dialogue on Labour Day to issue an Executive Order to fulfil this promise.
Leaders of the Nagkaisa labour coalition and Kilusang Mayo Uno, who have varied views on a wide range of labour and employment issues, are one in putting a stop to contractualization and other schemes that employers use to avoid regularizing worker.
We want the President to issue an executive order prohibiting all forms of contractualization based on the position we submitted.”
Despite the electoral promise to end contractualisation, the practice has increased under the Duterte administration. Increasingly regularised workers are being layoff and retrenched. In their place, workers hired as contractors through labour-hire firms and remain in a state of insecure employment. It is estimated there are other 24.4 million contract workers in the Philippines. Alarmingly such precariousness is continuing to grow across the Philippines.