Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Labor groups in NegOcc to rally against contractualization

Labor groups in Negros Occidental are staging a protest rally tomorrow to demand anew to President Rodrigo Duterte to abolish contractualization in the country.

Wennie Sancho, secretary general of General Alliance of Workers Association (Gawa), yesterday said the simultaneous national rally aims to call on the President to sign the Executive Order (EO) absolutely abolishing end of contract (endo) scheme.

Sancho earlier expressed apprehension that Duterte may again “fail” to fulfill his campaign promise by not signing the drafted EO that would put an end to contractualization during the fourth dialogue with the labor sector on March 15.

“We will again demand to the President to sign a proclamation abolishing contractualization and declare it as criminal and illegal,” he added.

The rally, which will start at 11 a.m. from Rizal Elementary School to the Department of Labor and Employment Office in Bacolod City, will be attended by at least 500 members of various progressive and labor groups.

The five convenors include Gawa, Democratic Alliance of Labor Organizations, National Congress of Unions in the Sugar Industry of the Philippines-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Kilusang Mayo Uno, and National Federation of Sugarcane Workers.

The protest will be highlighted by the signing of the statement of solidarity among labor groups to manifest a strong opposition against contractualization.

Labor groups in the country earlier claimed that Department Order (DO) 174, signed by Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III last year, provides “prohibitions” against contractualization but does not totally abolish such employment scheme.

The DO No. 174 sets stricter guidelines for contractualization, and superseding DO No. 18 providing the original guidelines on contracting and subcontracting.

Under which, labor-only contracting, or the practice of merely recruiting or supplying workers to perform a job or work for an employer, is prohibited.

It limits "endo" through the prohibition of the continuous hiring of workers under a repeated contract of short duration by contractor and subcontractor like a manpower agency.

The guidelines prohibit the “cabo” system and contracting work from an in-house agency or cooperative, due to a strike and those performed by union leaders to ensure employees' rights to self-organization.

“Works that are necessary and desirable to the company should be regularized,” Sancho reiterated.
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