Labor group launches workers’ assembly-A A +A
Sunday, August 19, 2012
LABOR leader Wennie Sancho spearheaded the launching of the General Alliance of Workers' Assembly (Gawa), which is a trade union-social movement that will serve as the voice of the toiling masses to achieve economic emancipation.
Gawa, which will serve as the umbrella organization of all workers in the public, private and informal sectors, whether organized or unorganized, regular or contractual, was launched Saturday in Bacolod City.
Sancho said Gawa’s membership covers all types and categories of workers, regardless of their position, and designation.
He pointed out that globalization, corporate restructuring and closures, have led to the displacement of workers.
"Flexible employment arrangements, such as job -- contracting and labor -- only contracting, result from globalization. There are many bills in Congress criminalizing contractualization. But unfortunately, they must be gathering dust because majority of the members of Congress are capitalists," Sancho said.
On the danger of contractualization, he said: "It will reduce all of us and the future generations of workers into contractual workers for the rest of our lives."
Sancho said Gawa is province-wide in scope, multi-sectoral in membership, non-sectarian in character, non-profit in its activities and, most of all, autonomous from government and independent from political partisan cause.
He said they want to see to it that contractual workers will receive the same benefits enjoyed by regular workers.
"We do not have illusions because we know this is a hard job. But we will try our best with the support of the group," Sancho said.
Hernanie Braza of the Trade Union of the Philippines said the success or failure of the movement will depend on their unity.
During a press conference Saturday at the Negros Press Club building, officers and members of Gawa issued a statement of support for to the officers and members of Bacolod Coca-Cola Sales Force Union and the New and Independent Workers' Organization.
The group said they believe it is their moral and sacred duty to uphold, support and protect the interests of all workers, especially their member organizations, and that they will not hesitate to mobilize their forces to answer the call for solidarity when their participation and assistance will be invoked by their beleaguered brothers and sisters in the labor movement.
Sancho said the group will hold its general assembly to ratify the Constitution and bylaws and elect the regular officers very soon. He said the officers will serve for only six months to give other members a chance to serve.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 20, 2012.