In a united front, labor groups Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), ALL WORKERS UNITY (AWU), Alliance of Genuine Labor Organizations (AGLO), and National Confederation of Labor (NCL) marched on Bonifacio Day, demanding significant wage increases, job security, and the protection of workers’ rights.
Organized by the five prominent labor organizations, the unified march began at Kalaw Avenue, culminating at the gates of Malacañang in Mendiola.
The groups stressed the urgent need for substantial wage increases, amidst workers’ incomes lagging behind the family living wage standard.
Atty. Ernesto Arellano, President of the National Confederation of Labor, emphasized the necessity of legislation to implement a P750 across-the-board wage increase and the abolition of regional wage boards.
The labor groups also denounced the prevalent issue of contractualization, challenging the effectiveness of the Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act.
Ed Laurencio, Secretary-General of AGLO, criticized the act for prioritizing reskilling over job security, asserting that the Department of Labor and Employment should promptly discard DO 174.
Addressing corruption concerns surrounding the Maharlika Investment Fund and Confidential and Intelligence Funds, the groups called for the reallocation of these funds towards essential social services, including public healthcare, education, and housing.
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Julie Ann Gutierrez of ALL WORKERS UNITY expressed discontent with the undisclosed use of confidential funds, stressing that redirecting such funds to public services would benefit the nation more.
The labor groups also condemned the persistent red-tagging, intimidation, and extrajudicial killings of workers and unionists. They demanded immediate action to stop these violations, seeking justice for victims, including the late labor organizer Jude Fernandez.
Luke Espiritu, President of BMP, criticized the escalating attacks on workers’ rights and organizers following the release of the deceptive EO 23 by Marcos Jr.
The groups urged the immediate investigation and accountability of state forces involved in violence and killings.
Amid the worsening climate crisis, the worker-leaders called for a just transition away from fossil fuels, emphasizing the need for public investment in renewable energy. They urged the government to prioritize the interests of the masses over the ruling elite.
Jerome Adonis, Secretary-General of KMU, rallied against foreign aggression in the West Philippine Sea and opposed the growing military presence in the country. Adonis also expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle against the Zionist genocide, calling for a united fight for genuine freedom and justice.
The labor groups appealed to all Filipinos to continue Bonifacio’s quest for genuine freedom and national development by actively participating in and advocating for the realization of these aspirations.
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