DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A labor group was enraged when President Rodrigo Duterte sacked Department of Labor and Employment Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod, the last Leftist official under his administration.
In a statement on Wednesday, Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned Duterte’s decision, saying it signaled a crackdown against labor groups across the country with Maglunsod, a veteran labor leader as its latest target.
“We strongly condemn Duterte for firing Maglunsod. This is part of his crackdown against the labor movement that leads the growing strikes and protests against Duterte’s failed promise to end contractualization and to implement a significant wage hike amidst the record high inflation,” KMU chairperson Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog said.
Malacañang on Wednesday said Duterte fired Maglunsod because of his failure to stop workers’ strikes growing across the country. This, he claimed, has an impact on the economy.
“He thinks that strikes are unproductive and of course doon po ang konteksto na sinabi nya na tatanggalin si Undersecretary Joel,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised press briefing.
KMU said the more than 130 notices of strikes filed before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board are reflections of the worsening state of Filipino workers under Duterte.
“Majority of growing number of strikes are results of collective bargaining deadlocks, unfair labor practices, non-implementation of regularization orders, union busting, illegal lay-offs, minimum wage violations, non-compliance of labor standards, illegal lock-outs and closures. The unrest in the labor front is bound to escalate as Duterte continues to tolerate and connive with capitalists in attacking workers’ rights,” Labog said.
Duterte has totally refused to address the legitimate demands and concerns, Labog added as he stressed that Maglunsod remains the sole pro-labor official in the DOLE.
“Firing the sole DOLE official that has genuinely addressed workers’ concerns proves that Duterte has no intention to fulfill his promise of ending contractualization and implementing a national minimum wage. With this, the Duterte regime is bound to forge further connivance with big businesses in waging an all-out attack against workers’ wages, jobs and rights,” Labog said. (davaotoday.com)