Uring Manggagawa, Hukbong Mapagpalaya!

Sosyalismo ang Lunas! Ibagsak ang mapang-api't masibang kapitalistang sistema! Manggagawa sa Lahat ng Bansa, Magkaisa!

Huwebes, Setyembre 21, 2017

All Resist Movement of the Workers (ARM the Workers)

THE power balance is shifting. The previous advantaged position enjoyed by the popular Duterte regime is in peril. 

The War on Drugs with its patent wanton disregard for due process has taken its toll on the public. Thousands, with some estimates having a running balance of 13,000, have been killed; nearly all of them poor and underprivileged. The slaughter of the innocents, which was highlighted by the celebrated murder of 17-year old Kian delos Santos, has put into question the “kill, kill, kill” pronouncements of Malacanang, along with its P6.85 million bounty, in 2016, for the police in pursuit of alleged pushers and users of illegal drugs. 

More revolting is the gall and arrogance of Duterte’s rubber stamp in Batasan; for previously awarding a measly budget of P1,000 for the human rights commission before it backtracked, and has railroaded controversial anti-worker and anti-poor measures such as the excise taxes on petroleum products and sugar sweetened beverages, and is now toying with the impeachment of a co-equal branch of the state in the persona of Chief Justice Sereno. 

The Martial Law in Mindanao is dangled like a sword over the entire archipelago, a not-so-veiled threat against legitimate dissent and human rights, even as the city of Marawi is smashed to smithereens not to crush a handful of terrorists but to provide the backdrop for a historic land grab by property development firms of oligarchs such as the Sys, the Gokongweis, the Ayalas, etc. 

The oligarchy, which was subject to verbal attacks by the Duterte, was not alarmed. The neoliberal policies of liberalization, deregulation, privatization, and labor flexibilization – which reaped in billions of profits for them and concentrated social wealth in the hands of the richest 40 families – remains fully in force. 

The oligarchs know that they would cash in from the “build, build, build” thrust of Duterte-nomics, not only through their construction firms but also with their private banks that would lend capital to the planned infrastructure projects. Furthermore, these urban landlords expect to profit from the rise of land values in sprawling megacities with the development of transport and communication networks. 

Even though the previous Noynoy Aquino administration is constantly subject to presidential ridicule, the economic policies of the current regime have not changed. As such, global capital and transnational capital remain confident in the so-called “economic fundamentals”, followed to the letter by the Duterte government. 

Despite the harsh anti-US rhetoric by Duterte, diplomatic ties with the American government are not severed. The military treaties that traditionally bind the country to the interests of the United States – the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951, the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), the 2002 Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA), the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement – are untouched. In the continuing assault against the miniscule Maute group, American troops have even joined Filipino soldiers in the “War on Terror” in Malacanang. 

These agreements inevitably pushes the country in the middle of the brewing conflict between the United States and China – the world’s fastest growing economy – for economic hegemony and global dominance.  

Amidst the local and international turmoil, the Filipino people have spoken in the 2016 national elections. They want change. Lamentably, 16 million were fooled into believing that the warlord-thug who now sits in Malacanang is their champion. But they grasped an iota of truth in their wholesale rejection of the Yellow forces, whose dominance since Edsa 1986 has only led to a three-decade disappointment under the Liberal elite. 

The imperative is to build an alternative that is not only different from the stalwarts of elite democracy but also dissimilar in programmatic content for meaningful and sweeping reforms to ultimately change society and the state. 

Such alternative could only be proposed, with credibility and integrity, by the workers movement. The working class – more than any class in Philippine society – is most oppressed by the lack of democratic rights and by perpetual economic want. They form the majority in plantations, factories, offices, and workplaces. Yet, “majority rule” is non-existent. What prevails is the dictatorship of the owning few in the guise of “management prerogative”. It is the prevalence of property rights of the minority over the right to decent lives of the toiling majority. 

The working class not only comprises the majority in Philippine society. They are also the most organized. Out of more than a hundred million Filipinos, almost 23 million are wage and salaried workers. They are dwarfed only by the millions of informal workers in a backward capitalist economy. But all in all, their collective toil form the assembly line and distribution network for the production and distribution of goods and services, linked with the global economy. Organized across Philippine society as a profit-making machine but whose collective will remain as a disorganized mass of individual dreams and aspirations. 

Despite such formlessness, in terms of self-organization, the workers are among the most organized sectors in the country. The trade union movement is at almost 2 million, decimated by economic restructuring brought by globalization, but remaining as a formidable force, but only if the unionists would transcend craft and factory-level concerns by learning how to link these experiences with how society and the state are organized to favor the propertied few. 

The time has come for the working class to awaken from its slumbers. Its combined strength that now moves the levers of the economy must become a self-conscious force to change society. The powerful only appear high and mighty when one is on its knees. Arise!

Let every Filipino – who truly desires genuine and meaningful change, particularly those who marched against the arrogant impunity of the powerful as they trample upon the human rights of the poor on this fateful anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law – take as duty and responsibility the critical task of awakening the potential of the working class. Go among the workers; go to the toilers! Expose as a false prophet this murderous thug who serves the capitalist class! Join them in the immediate struggles against contractual labor, low wages, high prices, new taxes, lack of social services, etc. Teach them the inextricable link of these gut issues to ‘politics’ and the ‘state question’, on which class controls the state apparatus. 

In 1975, the deafening silence at the height of Martial Law was shattered by the La Tondena strike. It was soon followed not only by a strike wave in other factories but by a resurgent parliament of the streets. “Sobra na, tama na, welga na!” was the precursor of the “sobra na, tama na, palitan na”, which reverberated across the country during the revolutionary tide of 1983 to 1986. 

Now, in the face of an aspiring dictator, the imperative is for a resistance movement of the working class – the embryo of a plebeian-led upheaval that should be the culmination of the failures of the elite-led Edsa revolts. ARM the Workers! #

National Executive Committee, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
September 21, 2017

Miyerkules, Setyembre 20, 2017

Metro workers chide P21 wage order as “loose change is coming”

Workers belonging to the National Capital Region (NCR) chapter of the militant Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) held a picket in front of the offices of the NCR wage board today to protest the P21 wage order, which the group described as a “pittance that mocks the dignity of labor”. 

Loose Change is coming

Warren Bartolome, BMP-NCR vice chairperson and leader of the LBC workers union said, “It seems that the NCR wage board has a different interpretation of the so-called mandate of the Duterte administration. To them, it is ‘loose change is coming’ because Wage Order 21 of the RTWPB-NCR is a mere pittance. It is a mockery of the dignity of labor”. 

Bartolome clarified, “Wages are falling due to inflation. Prices are expected to rise even more with the coming passage of the new excise taxes on petroleum products and sugar sweetened beverages. Yet, the NCR wage board could only add half a kilo of rice to workers’ wages”. 

“The latest wage order is insulting for NCR workers who contribute most of the country’s economic growth,” he added. The labor leader then cited statistical data that shows that the largest share of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) was from Metro Manila, at 36.6 percent. “If the wage board truly wants to enhance labor productivity, it should have ordered a substantial increase that would make wages approximate the daily cost of living of P1,200 for a family of six”. 

Abolish the wage boards

Meanwhile, BMP national president Leody de Guzman declared that the Wage Order 21 of the NCR wage board provides another evidence for the demand to abolish the wage boards and to thoroughly reform the country’s wage fixing mechanisms. 

He said, “It has been almost three decades (28 years) since the passage of Republic Act 6727, which created the wage boards and its criteria for wage fixing. Still, the new NCR minimum wage, which is the highest in the country, is not even half of the living wage”. 

De Guzman concluded, “The living wage should be the sole determinant of the minimum wage. It follows the law of value and prices, which says that prices should be determined by the cost of production. Commodities are priced at cost of production plus profit. The cost of production of labor power, which workers sell in exchange for wages, is the cost of living. Workers do not expect to profit from their labors. We work in order to provide a decent life for ourselves and our families. Worse, workers are not only wage slaves under the present capitalist system; we are more so underselling our labor-power at only half its real value. #

Martes, Setyembre 5, 2017

Dialogue and rally at Labor Department


Workers push for compliance of employers found guilty of labor-only contracting in DOLE inspections

MANILA. Some 100 members of the BMP Southern Tagalog chapter, along with leaders and supporters of the Dusit Thani supervisory union, will hold a rally in front of the DOLE offices in Intramuros tomorrow to urge the labor department to consummate its inspection processes by compelling employers to regularize workers. 

“DOLE, huwag naman kayong maging banderang kapos,” said BMP-ST chair Domeng Mole. “Employers do not follow the compliance orders of the labor inspections on labor-only contracting. Not only do they employ delaying tactics by submitting their appeal to the said findings,” he clarified. 

“More so, using the threat of unemployment, they tell casual employees not to demand their regularization. Local unions at inspected workplaces are also dissuaded from including the now regular workers into their bargaining unit. If the DOLE would not compel management to regularize its workers, then its inspections only created more confusion at the shop-floor level, which will lead to the further detriment to labor rights and standards,” Mole added. 

The BMP Southern Tagalog chapter has documented 9 DOLE inspections in the industrial Calabarzon region, which ordered the regularization of 2,369 casual workers (see data below). The list included the Asia Brewery Inc. plant in Cabuyao, Laguna, where the management was ordered to regularize 351 workers. The ABI casual workers are scheduled for a dialogue with Sec. Bello at around 11:00 a.m.

Also joining the protest are supervisory workers from Dusit Hotel, who protest the termination of its union president, Crisanto Ami. Ami was dismissed on trumped up charges. The union believes that the heavy-handed reaction is a retaliatory action to a DOLE investigation on labor contractualization practices by the Dusit Thani management last May 16, 2016. 

As the result of said inspection, the management was ordered to regularize 309 out of 382 casual employees and to pay P48 million to compensate for its underpayment to the aggrieved workers.  The inspection was requested by Mr. Ami. 

Meanwhile, BMP national president Leody de Guzman challenged the DOLE to show proof that Duterte’s stance against contractualization is real. He concluded, “After more than a year in office, the contractualization of ‘usually necessary or desirable’ work continues. Tuloy ang endo! Even with the DOLE inspections, employers still resort to labor-only contracting to keep wages low and their workers docile. If there is truth to Duterte's harsh words against contractualization, DOLE Sec. Bello, as his alter-ego, should go after these abusive capitalists and their labor-only contractors”. #

May 1, 2013 rali

Das Kapital published on 14 Sept 1867

Das Kapital published on 14 Sept 1867

Itigil ang Tanggalan!

Itigil ang Tanggalan!
Disenteng Trabaho para sa Lahat!

kagutuman sa kabila ng kahirapan

kagutuman sa kabila ng kahirapan

Mga Tagasubaybay

Slam Evil, Slam Apec

Slam Evil, Slam Apec
November 1996