More than 10,000 workers from various labor groups will troop to Mendiola near Malacanang on Monday, Labor Day, in what they said was a display of solidarity.
This is intended to demand an increase in wages, an end to contractualization and the full recognition of the right to freely unionize, according to the All Philippine Trade Unions (APTU).
It said it would gather more than 10,000 workers to march from España to Mendiola in the morning of May 1 to collectively air their demands.
Also, the Department of the Interior and Local Government tapped local chief executives in Metro Manila and the Philippine National Police to begin preparations to ensure peace and order during the Labor Day celebration on May 1.
FOR WORKERS’ RIGHTS. Members of various unions and labor federations came together for a press conference at Maria Orosa Ermita Manila to discuss the upcoming Joint Labor Day Mobilization on May 1 to urge the government to uphold workers’ rights, raise wages, and create jobs. Norman Cruz
“While we support all lawful and peaceful activities in commemoration of Labor Day, we must ensure public safety and peace and order,” said DILG secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr.
The DILG chief called on the Regional Peace and Order Council – National Capital Region (RPOC-NCR) and PNP to discuss the security preparations for next week’s celebration.
“Let us make sure that a sizable security contingent will be fielded particularly in known convergence areas while the policy of maximum tolerance will be strictly observed by police security forces,” said Abalos.
The APTU, composed of the Nagkaisa! Labor Coalition, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino and other trade union centers and confederations.
It was established in January 2023 as workers submitted its report on the state of freedom of association in the Philippines to ILO High Level Tripartite Mission that looked into the killings of trade union leaders and other FOA violations since 2016.
“Wages should climb together with productivity because it is only right and just that workers, who create the wealth of our nation, get their fair share of our economic growth. Workers cannot wait any more, and workers definitely deserve better,” said Paul Gajes, Legislative Officer of TUCP.
There are petitions for wage increase in almost all regions, even as proposed measures for wage increase have been filed in both Houses of Congress, ranging from P150 to P750.
“Workers will march on May 1 to press for Malacanang’s position on our demands for an inclusive roadmap to achieve decent work, an immediate action to the popular clamor for immediate wage increase and an end to impunity among other matters,” said Elmer Labog, chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno.
Other labor groups are also reported to hold protest actions in different parts of the country.
“Depriving someone of the right to life diminishes us all. We are all part of the greater humanity. As trade unions, we are in solidarity with one another,” said Rene Magtubo of the Nagkaisa! Labor Coalition.
Ending contractualization remains high in the priority list of organized labor.
Annie Geron of Women Workers United said: “Low wages, rising prices, contractualization and workplace violence are hitting working women the hardest.
“Raising the minimum wage would considerably benefit women workers who are disproportionately concentrated in low-wage, precarious jobs and help close the gender wage gap.”
“The current administration should pass the security of tenure bills in both the public and private sectors, and ratify ILO Convention 190 on the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work,” she said.
“I urge our Metro Manila local chief executives and the PNP leadership to enforce a strategic plan to cover various aspects of police operations such as traffic management, civil disturbance management, anti-criminality and counterterrorism, emergency response, and other necessary measures for an orderly, peaceful, and successful event,” Geron added.
Meanwhile, over 70,000 job opportunities are up for grabs on Labor Day, according to the Department of Labor and Employment.
In a statement, the DOLE said an initial 73,779 job vacancies will be rolled up in the face-to-face job fairs to be participated in by 808 employers in 42 job fair sites nationwide.
Among the top industries are BPO, manufacturing, financial and insurance activities, manpower services, and sales and marketing.
The top vacancies are for customer service representatives, production workers/operators, financial consultants, service crew, and sales agents or salesclerks.
The number of vacancies is expected to increase in the succeeding days, the DOLE said.
The main job fair site is at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, where over 12,000 jobs will be offered by 125 employers on April 30.
Other job fair sites in Luzon are:
National Capital Region – SM Grand Central (Caloocan City); QC Quadrangle (Quezon City); SM BF Parañaque (Parañaque City); SM Sucat (Parañaque City); SM Southmall (Las Piñas); Robinsons Place Las Piñas; Vista Mall Taguig; SM City Marikina (Marikina City); San Andres Gym (City of Manila);
Cordillera Administrative Region – SM Baguio; Baguio Convention Center; Ilocos Region – Provincial Livelihood Development Center, Vigan, Ilocos Sur; PESO Multipurpose Hall, Lingayen, Pangasinan; Orbos Gym, Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan; Magic Mall, Urdaneta City, Pangasinan;
Cagayan Valley Region – SM City Tuguegarao; Robinsons Place Santiago; Reina Mercedes Municipal Court, Mercedes, Isabela; Northstar Mall, Ilagan City, Isabela; Bambang Sports Complex, Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya;
Central Luzon – SM City Marilao, Bulacan; SM City Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija; SM City Pampanga, City of San Fernando Pampanga; SM City Olongapo Central; SM City San Jose Del Monte;
CALABARZON – Ynares Center, Antipolo City, Rizal; MIMAROPA – City Mall, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro; Bicol Region – Ayala Malls Legazpi;
Jobseekers in the Visayas may visit the following sites: Western Visayas – Robinsons Iloilo; Central Visayas – Robinsons Galleria Cebu; Lamberto Macias Sports; Complex, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental; Eastern Visayas – Tacloban Convention Center;
In Mindanao, the job fair sites are in: Zamboanga Peninsula – KCC Mall de Zamboanga; Northern Mindanao – SM CDO Downtown Premier; Davao Region – SM City Davao; Provincial Capitol Gymnasium of Davao Oriental, Mati City, Davao Oriental; SOCCSKSARGEN – Kidapawan City Gymnasium, Kidapawan City; Caraga – Almont Inland Hotel, Butuan.