Labor group declines Palace Labor Day invite

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Labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) has turned down an invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte for labor leaders to attend an assembly organized by the Labor department to commemorate Labor Day in Davao City on Monday.

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“It is pointless to attend their assembly on the only day in the entire year dedicated to the working class, especially if the issues and concerns that gravely affect us will not even be tackled and addressed,” Leody de Guzman, BMP leader, said.

He complained that “workers are not even part of the Labor day program of Malacañang. They only intend us to be ornaments, a mere backdrop to the President as he addresses the crowd. It will seem that it is not even Labor Day if we will not be even be given the chance to raise our points on contractualization, dirt wages and unemployment. There will not even be an open forum after Duterte’s speech.”

The assembly is intended for labor leaders and other sectors so that they would be able to hear the President’s  “surprise” announcement for workers on Labor Day.

“Matatag na Kabuhayan Tungo sa Progresibong Pagbabago,”  is reported to be the assembly’s theme.

“Malacañang cannot expect us to be eager, if his very promise remains to be meaningless. What we need and what was promised us was the end to all forms of contractual employment,  not the explanation why he succumbed to the interests of capitalists,“ de Guzman said.

It has been over a year when President Duterte promised in the Luzon leg of the 2016 presidential debate in Pangasinan that he will prohibit contractualization upon assuming the presidency.

Meanwhile, de Guzman announced the formation of Paggawa or Pagkakaisa ng Paggawa (Unity of Labor), an alliance of groups that were once affiliated with the Kilusang Mayo Uno.

Paggawa counts as members the National Federation of Labor Unions, Alliance of Genuine Labor Organizations, National Confederation of Labor and National Federation of Labor.

JING VILLAMENTE

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