The country’s biggest coalition of labor groups on Tuesday said labor contractualization brought up by Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. the other day was “extremely condemnable,” citing 20 million who have fallen victim to the malpractice.
The coalition Nagkaisa’s Sonny Matula, a lawyer, said the “5-5-5” labor contract was already declared illegal by the Supreme Court in the case of Purefoods vs National Labor Relations Commission in 1997.
“[But it] is still rampant today and it seems that the [Aquino] administration is helpless to curb it,” Matula added.
According to the Nagkaisa, an association of 49 progressive labor unions and federations headed by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), there are about 20 million contractual workers in the government and private sectors as of September of this year out of over 41 million salaried workers/employees in the country.
On Monday, Marcos described contractualization as “oppressive,” saying there is one contractual worker for every three rank-and-file employees among the country’s entire workforce who is underpaid and barred from receiving additional financial benefits on top of his basic pay.
Matula, president of Federation of Free Workers, said the “5-5-5”
practice is a blatant disregard of employment security as guaranteed by the Constitution.
Under the practice, a worker is replaced by another also under a five-month contract.
A six month’s employment makes it mandatory for an employer to make an employee a regular one.
According to Leody de Guzman, president of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, the concept of contractualization has prevented workers from joining labor unions and pushing collective bargaining agreements.
Mark Tanjusay, spokesman for the TUCP-Nagkaisa, said contractualization also prevents workers from benefiting from the country’s “growing economy.”
Tanjusay added that they have been urging Congress to pass the proposed Security of Tenure Act to assure that 90 percent of workers in every business establishment in the country are employed as regulars, while only 10 percent are contractuals.