Militants hit DTI win-win solution anew

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MILITANT labor groups again slammed the so-called ‘win-win solution’ proposed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez to end labor contractualization , describing the same as ruse that would only legitimize the workers’ exploitation by capitalists and employers.

The groups Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) ang MASO-Pilipinas made the allegation as they ‘gate-crashed’ the 6th annual forum of PALSCON or the Philippine Association of Legitimate Service Contractors,  which was set to tackle their position on the proposal of the trade and labor departments.

This developed as they challenged President Duterte’s sincerity in fulfilling his campaign promise to end temporary employment by ordering his economic managers to stop espousing anti-labor proposals.

They also called on President Duterte to issue an Executive Order to declare DO18-A void and the revision of the BMBE law.

They also want him to certify as urgent congressional bills nullifying Articles 106 to 109 and the prohibition of contracting of ‘usually necessary or desirable’ work, pursuant to Article 280 of the Labor Code. 

The criminalization of labor-only contracting and deputize labor union leaders as labor inspectors to check and report violation of labor standards.

“It will simply take President Duterte an issuance of an Executive Order to scrap contractualization for good. To ordain such would lift millions of families from the yoke of dearth and misery,” Leody de Guzman, president of BMP said.

Under Lopez’s proposed set-up, workers will be hired by the service providers and manpower agencies as regular employees, receiving various benefits such as leave credits, 13th month pay as well as retirement, social security and health insurance plans, among others.

The militants called the proposal “baseless and dismissive” of Article 280 of the Labor Code, which states that regular employees are those who perform “usually necessary or desirable” in the normal operations of a business. 

“For more than two decades now, workers have been severely burdened by the wanton denial of our rights, forcibly shoving us further below poverty line. No amount sugar-coating from capitalist agents, will dupe us into taking their bait,” said Leody de Guzman, president of the socialist BMP. 

The groups insisted the proposal would only mean that Articles 106 to 109 of the Labor Code and Department Order 18-A, “legal instruments used to circumvent constitutionally-guaranteed rights” shall remain intact.  

De Guzman explained that Articles 106 to 109 provided the loophole for capitalists in these trilateral agreements to use contractors and subcontractors that provide cheaper workers to carry out work that should be performed by their regular employees. 

These provisions, he claimed, “were only meant to obfuscate employee-employer relationships. More so, it reinforces the capitalist blackmail of ‘work or starve’, under constant threat of unemployment by simply terminating their employment contracts”.