DAVAO CITY — Two days before All Saints’ Day, workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno held a protest in front of the Labor Department’s main office in Intramuros, Manila to mourn the death of fellow workers in workplace accidents and to demand for better working conditions.
The workers lit candles and carried placards painted as tombstones containing the Top 5 worst cases of workplace accidents under the presidency of Noynoy Aquino: Kentex (more than 74 workers, May 13, 2015), Novo Jeans and Shirts (17 workers, May 9, 2012), Eton Towers (11 workers, January 27, 2011), Semirara Mining Corp. (nine workers, July 17, 2015), Asia Micro Tech (eight workers, May 30, 2014).
“We remember and mourn for our fellow workers who died in the workplace. We continue to cry for justice for them. Their deaths compel us to fight for better working conditions for all Filipino workers,” said Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary-general.
The group also warned workers and the public about the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit on November, which it said would mean lower wages, widespread contractualization, rampant violations of workers’ rights – and therefore gradual death for the country’s workers.
Adonis said the upcoming APEC Summit, in the guise of “attracting foreign investors” to “developing countries” like the Philippines, will “undermine existing laws and create new ones that would allow big capitalists to increase profits by making working conditions worse.”
“APEC would mean more workplace deaths and a gradual death for all workers. Since the last APEC Summit in the Philippines in 1996, wages have been pressed down, contractualization has spread, violations of workers’ rights have become more rampant, and more workers have died in workplace accidents,” Adonis said. (davaotoday.com)