Labor unions want DOLE to scrap contractualization

Apr. 28, 2015

DAVAO CITY – Labor unions urged today Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz to scrap Department Order 18-A (DO 18-A) saying it violates the worker’s right to security of tenure.

Union leaders of the alliance Union Presidents Against Contractualization (Upac) and casual employees of the Solidarity of Workers Against Contractualization (Swac) converged at Baldoz’ office on Tuesday.

DO 18-A or Rules Implementing Articles 106 to 109 of the Labor Code, As Amended was issued in November 14, 2011.

Section 1 of the DO said “Contracting and subcontracting arrangements are expressly allowed by law and are subject to regulations for the promotion of employment and the observance of the rights of workers to just and humane conditions of work, security of tenure, self-organization and collective bargaining.”


However, the groups said the DO “has to be promptly revoked for having inflicted widespread and systematic labor rights violation since its issuance.”

“The DO is contrary to the Social Justice provision of the 1987 Constitution on the labor sector and is therefore illegal,” they said.

Article XIII, Section II orders that, “(t)he State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all.”

The same provision also said that, “(t)hey shall be entitled to security of tenure, humane conditions of work, and a living wage.”

“Article XIII, Section II must be the most violated decree in the Constitution and the labor sector the most debased since Aquino came to power in 2010,” said Leni Ogarte, Upac chairperson and also president of the local union of Century Park Hotel.

She added that, “the horrendous effects of contractualization has not been limited to the regularization of employees, but has also undermined labor unions by methodically decreasing our bargaining leverage in our collective bargaining with our employers”.

Swac spokesperson Franco Villanueva, who is also a former contractual employee at Puregold supermarket, said Mary Jane Veloso belongs to the “generation of workers that are discouraged to work locally because of the appalling income  poverty and labor rights violations of DO 18-A.”

Upac insisted that even though DO 18-A categorically states that it prohibits labor-only contracting, “it counters itself and says it is legal if employers pass certain but flimsy standards such as the sufficiency of capital of the employers and the mandatory registration of all manpower agencies be filed before the Dole.”

Ogarte also decried the poor implementation of the order. She said that labor department has “not aggressively pursued the violators, despite the prevalence of its infringements in almost all companies.”

“The Dole has done nothing but take note of the number of manpower agencies that has registered, not even a slap on the wrist for the dehumanization it has caused to all workers and their families,” she said.

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