By: Marites Toledo
NAGKAISA, a coalition of more than 42 labor federations, in the country strongly accused Labor Sec. Sylvestre Bello 3rd of intentionally cheating more than 67 million workers by issuing opposing statements on how to end contractualization or end of contract (endo).
Speaking in behalf of Nagkaisa, Rene Magtubo, chairman of Partido Manggagawa (PM) said “Bello’s statements were deceptive and unacceptable, first, because illegal forms of contractualization, specifically the labor-only contracting scheme, has long been banned by law and second, the win-win solution will make the business model of job contracting or outsourcing legal.”
Magtubo’s statement was Nagkaisa’s reaction to Bello’s declaration on Tuesday before the Malacanang Press Corps.
The secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) told the press that contractualization will end by next year by making 25,000 contractual workers regular.
On the other hand, he admitted that DOLE is seriously thinking of adopting the proposal of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to stop contractualization in the manpower and recruitment companies and not on the mother firms where the workers are employed as contractuals.
Contractual workers are employed less than six months, thus, they have no consistent jobs.
Their salary is below minimum and no financial benefits.
But, their job is similar to regular employees.
Therefore, exploitation on the contractual employees are worse than the regular employees.
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) data showed that more than 35 million workers are working as contractual out of more than 67 million workers.
Atty. Jose Sonny Matula, president of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), made it clear in previous interviews on him that contractual employees are also seen in various government agencies, aside from the private firms.
Matula said the government should not adopt contractualization system of hiring employees because the government knew it very well that contractualization contradicts the 1987 Constitution and the Labor Code of the Philippines.
Josua Mata of Sentro said the problem with the regularizing employees in manpower and recruitment firms instead in the companies where the workers are working that DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez has asserted as “win-win solution” (meaning good for the employers and employees) “is not a real gain for the workers under [the supposed] win-win [concept].”
“In fact,” Mata averred that the workers will “suffer real losses because the right to security of tenure is now built on the false capacity of contractors to meet their social and financial obligations to workers. These contractors will never have the means to address workers’ guaranteed rights on freedom of association and collective bargaining.”
He said the DTI solution is in fact intended to spare the real employers of their obligations to workers by making sure that no genuine employer-employee relationship is created under this arrangement.
Once DOLE adopted Lopez idea, the DOLE would be guilty of “making workers’ basic constitutional rights unattainable and illusory,” he added.
Magtubo stressed that Nagkaisa is firm against all forms of contractualization.
Matula said the labor sector is not open for any compromise on its battle against contrantualization.
Matula said the whole Nagkaisa, including FFW, is strongly urging Bello to end all forms of contractualization.