By: Marites Badilla
FIVE of the biggest labor federations in the country stressed that they continue to stand pat against all forms of contractualization.
The Associated Labor Unions (ALU), Federation of Free Workers (FFW), Partido Manggagawa (PM), Bukluran ng Mnggagawang Pilipino (BMP), and Traade Union Congress of the Philippines(TUCP) said they are not open to any compromise against contractualization.
The five federations asserted its position despite Labor Sec. Sylvestre Bello III promised to FFW on Tuesday that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will end 555 and labor only contacting schemes of hiring employees.
555 and labor only contracting are two forms of contractualization.
Alan Tajusay ALU’s spokesperson, said his group’s demand to DOLE is put an end to all forms of contractualization.
Tanjusay stressed that ALU will never compromise in ending any form of contractualization such as end of contract or endo and “555.”
FFW president, Atty. Jose Sonny Matula said it is FFW’s consistent and strong demand to the DOLE to “stop contractualization now.”
Matula said like other labor federations, FFW is not open to any compromise with the business sector and DOLE.
He said leaving the labor sector with 20 percent existence and tolerance of endo is definitely tantamount to allowing the capitalists to continue exploiting and humiliating the workers.
According to Matula, having a contractual system of hiring workers or employees means allowing and accepting that “labor is a commodity,” which is totally oppose to the principles and belief of FFW.
Matula emphasized that FFW strongly believe that labor is not a commodity, therefore, contractualization should never be allowed and accepted because contractualization is about labor as a commodity.
PM spokesperson Wilson Fortaleza said the hindrance in the labor federations fight against contractualization are the business groups and their supporters in the government.
Fortaleza said the business groups and their supporters are aggressively lobbying to prevent the DOLE from ending contractualization.
One of those who supports the defective solution against contractualization is Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez who pushes regularization of employees of the manpower and recruitment agencies and not the workers and employees directly employed in the main companies.
Lopez described his idea as a “win-win” solution—meaning both the capitalists and workers will benefit.