September 25, 2018
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
As Duterte certifies anti-contractualization bill as urgent:
BMP warns organized labor from supporting watered down bill
As president Duterte certified Senate Bill 1826 or the “Security of Tenure and End of Endo Act of 2018”, as urgent, socialist labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) warned today the broad trade union movement from rushing in to support the said measure.
“Organized labor must maintain its critical and independent stance. It should not allow itself to be used as a deodorizer to a fascist regime that is not only quickly losing popular support due to runaway inflation but to also bolster the illusion that the president is fulfilling his campaign promises,” the group said in a statement.
They pointed out that, “Duterte has all the authority to prohibit the contracting out of work, as per Article 106, but he continues to fumble by pointing workers to push for regularization through legislation. He is making a fool out of the Filipino public”.
The militants claim that the Security of Tenure bill was already certified as urgent by the Executive as early as July 2017 when the LEDAC or the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council approved the Common Legislative Agenda (CLA) for the 17th Congress.
BMP president Luke Espiritu warned fellow labor leaders that, “The devil is in the details”. He says that labor leaders should enlighten workers to see beyond motherhood statements and grandiose labels and not muddle the issue.
Senate Bill 1826, under its Section 3 permits trilateral work arrangements that contract out usually necessary and desirable work of principal employers to manpower agencies. Hence, despite the supposed limitations, it still allows the scourge of contractualization to continue and to harm workers’ rights and welfare,” said
“As it appears that the process to address the legal basis of contractualization is finally moving, the labor movement should not be foolish to rush its support to either to SB 1826 or House Bill 6908. We should ask: in what direction is it moving to, is it to finally end contractualization or to merely conjure the illusion of a delivery of a popular campaign promise without any betterment to the conditions of millions of contractual employees?
A study of the devilish details would prove that SB 1826 tends to move towards the latter that the former. It is however but a tendency, as compared to HB 6908, which is far, far worse,” Espiritu added.
The BMP is calling on Senate labor committee headed by Senator Joel Villanueva to recast SB 1826 to “show sympathy to the misery by correcting the injustices inflicted on contractual workers instead of favoring the profits of principal employers, who employ contractors to supply them with cheap and docile labor”.
“We demand not a harmonized version of SB 1826 and HB 6908 but a total rejection of the House version. Our basic position is the prohibition of all forms of contractualization. But if the Senate insists on trilateral work arrangements and legitimate job contracting, as a compromise and as a transition phase, we propose that contractual workers should be paid 200% more the wages paid to regular workers.
This, Espiritu says, is not only to protect secure the incomes of employees who do not have continuous livelihood but also to serve as deterrent to the abuse of temporary work schemes against regular employment”. ###