Workers demand scrapping of Endo, bid Baldoz good riddance

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TAKING cue from the pronouncements made by Presidentiables in the televised debate last Sunday, members of the militant Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) held a demonstration at the Labor department to push for the abolition of contractualization, also known as 5-5-5 brought about by the issuance of Department Order 18-A (DO) by Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz in November 2011.

The group asserted that the DO-18-A, a brainchild of Baldoz has been “technically terminated” after the unanimous response of all candidates for President who found contractual employment illegal and expressed their intention to fully enforce the law which guarantees the right of employees to regular jobs.

BMP Chairperson Leody de Guzman said that, “the DO is as good as dead. The overwhelming response of the presidentiables is a recognition that despite the much-vaunted economic growth of the present administration, even if peppered with statistics and graphs does not directly translates to social progress and poverty alleviation”.

De Guzman claimed with certainty that the DO was the “single biggest stumbling block” in achieving Aquino’s mantra of “inclusive growth”.

“As a matter of fact, contractualization is incoherent with his social protection programs. The DO allowed employers to evade mandatory benefits and bonuses for as long as manpower agencies register with the labor department and fulfill other flimsy requirements. It also undermined existing unions by weakening their bargaining power to negotiate for an increase in wages and benefits, De Guzman explained.

He also accused Baldoz of legalizing the exploitative work scheme and also provided businesses with “escape routes” to dodge their obligations mandated by law, circumventing constitutionally guaranteed right to security of tenure.

At their protest, the workers brought with them placards bearing the slogans “Bye-bye Do 18-A, Bye-bye Baldoz”, “Good riddance, Baldoz” and “DO 18-A salot (scourge), Baldoz at Aquino salot” in an effort to give a mocking farewell gesture to the Labor Secretary.

The BMP rallyists also lambasted Baldoz for resorting to scare tactics, claiming that millions of workers shall lose their jobs if the next president does away with contractual employment.

“Even up to the remaining days at her post, Baldoz has remained true to character, a loyal and ardent defender of the corporate interests of the likes of Lucio Tan and Henry Sy who have filled their bellies by profiting over their docile employees for many decades,“ the labor leader and Sanlakas partylist nominee stressed.

He noted that Baldoz will be leaving a “traumatic anti-worker legacy” in the six years she held the labor secretary post which was highlighted by the “legalization of contractualization, the Kentex tragedy and other occupational health and safety standards violations which claimed hundreds of lives and the busting of workers unions notable of which is the Philippine Airlines employees union”.

The BMP also issued a stern warning to all candidates in the upcoming elections who are engaged in the business of sub-contracting labor to be wary of their electoral bids and the hailstorm of labor cases to be filed against them once the DO is lifted.

The militants singled out Harry Angpin who is running as representative in the third district of Manila and Gus Tambunting, a re-electionist in the second district of Paranaque.

Tambunting is the President and COO of Superior Maintenance Services Inc, the country’s oldest janitorial service provider. Angpin figured in a union-busting case of NAMBOKU, a manpower agency servicing Philippine Airlines in 2003.

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