MANILA

Labor groups slam Duterte over Security of Tenure veto

LABOR groups Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and Partido Manggagawa (PM) on Friday, July 26, lambasted President Rodrigo Duterte for reneging on his campaign promise and rejecting the proposed Security of Tenure Act.

"Workers believed his word that he would never renege on his promise to end contractualization. But today, Mr. Duterte did not only turn his back, he just walked away from (the workers)," said TUCP president Raymond Democrito Mendoza.

"Now that he is three years into his term, he has completely made a u-turn by singing the capitalist chorus that businesses will die if workers are made regular. Duterte’s promise to end endo is dead," said PM chairman Rene Magtubo.

The labor leaders said it is now clear to their sector that Duterte has already chosen to side with his economic managers as well as local and foreign businesses.

This, they said, is in stark contrast to his forceful warning to employers months into his presidency that he will kill them for continuing with the practice of end-of-contract (endo), a scheme wherein a worker is contracted only for six months and fired or re-hired before the six months are over.

"We cannot believe this because the President himself pledged to end endo and the worse forms of contractualization. He told us he would never retract on his promise," said Mendoza.

"Between labor’s demand to end endo and the employers’ call to veto it, President Duterte has clearly surrendered to the capitalist blackmail," lamented Magtubo.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has refused to issue a statement on the fate of the Security of Tenure bill, saying Secretary Silvestre Bello III still has to meet with Duterte.

"The Secretary is meeting with the President late today. Until such time, he is deferring issuing a statement about the reported veto," said DOLE Information and Publication Service Director Rolly Francia.

On Friday, Malacañang announced that President Duterte has vetoed the bill, which seeks to prohibit the practice of labor-only contracting or the so-called “endo".

Duterte reasoned that the "sweeping expansion of the definition of labor-only contracting" in the measure will "destroy the delicate balance and will place capital and management at an impossibly difficult predicament". (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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