Just this month, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) visited the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to have a dialogue with Joel Maglunsod, Labor Secretary. The group presented “concrete proposals on ending contractualization.”
Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, chairperson of KMU, said it is now time for the government to do something more than simply studying how to address the problem and move aggressively towards putting a stop on contractualization, as promised by President Rodrigo Duterte during the campaign period. Duterte recently reached his 50th day in office.
Unlike in previous times wherein KMU openly criticized the administration, the group has expressed willingness to work with Duterte in addressing issues faced by workers. However, they emphasized that DOLE should first “distinguish itself from previous pro-capitalist administrations by promoting clear and concrete pro-worker policies.”
KMU encouraged DOLE to junk Department Order 18-A series of 2011 which institutionalized contractualization. DO-18-A was issued during the time of then-President Benigno Aquino, Jr.
According to data gathered by IBON foundation from 2013 to 2014, at least 4 out of 10 rank-and-file workers in establishments with 20 or more employees are hired under contractual or non-regular employment agreements.
KMU hopes that the government will promote regular employment and get rid of contractualization schemes which violate the rights of workers.
“Contractualization, whether employed in legal or illegal schemes, subject workers to worst forms of labor exploitation,” Labog told Maglunsod, their former colleague turned Labor Undersecretary.
Labog pointed out the tragic instance where 72 contractual workers of Kentex Manufacturing died in a factory fire. To this end, the labor leader and his group hopes that the Labor Code will be amended particularly Article 106-109 which labor groups label as “legalized contractualization.”
Other topics discussed during the dialogue include implementation of a National Minimum Wage of P750 ($16), the immediate resolution of labor cases, scrapping the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) policy along with the restrictive requirements on Workers’ Organization and Development Program (WODP).