Manila, Philippines – Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao blamed the Duterte regime for its failure to decisively end “endo” or contractualization of labor, and pushing for a sham “security of tenure” bill, which is actually a “job-contracting” bill. Thus, workers such as of the Peerless Producers Manufacturing Corp. (Pepmaco) in Calamba, Laguna launched their strike against labor-only contracting, violation of occupational safety standards, arbitrary wage deductions and other oppressive measures. Pepmaco is the maker of some popular brands such as Hana shampoo, Champion and Calla detergents and owned by a Taiwanese businessman Simeon Tiu.

The strike since June 24 is led by Pepmaco Workers Union under the labor federation National Federation of Labor – Kilusang Mayo Uno (Naflu-KMU) was supported by house members under the Makabayan bloc.

“The pending ‘security of tenure’ bill allows job-contracting by big firms and will fail to regularize workers. The only change it will do is that even the labor pool market will be left for monopoly big companies due to the capitalization requirement. Thus, contractual workers will be at their mercy, enduring low wages and without benefits,” the lawmaker said in a press statement.

The bill, at the bicameral version was based on House Bill 6908 and Senate Bill 1826. Major part of its provisions were about institutionalization of job-contracting. It never aimed to end “endo.”

Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao

“Filipino workers should be learned by now, that the regime is anti-worker and pro-oligarchs. It even failed the workers of NutriAsia, Jollibee, SM, PLDT, Coca-cola, who protested against contractualization of labor. To advance the workers’ interests, the key is to establish a consolidated union, capable of demanding via labor strikes,” he elaborated.

He slammed that the regime is always also “on-call” to the oligarchs, always ready deploy its armed forces to brutally attack workers’ picketlines such as the fate of NutriAsia in Bulacan and Sumifru workers in Mindanao.

“The Pepmaco workers are only demanding their due rights and living wage levels. But the collusion between the oligarchs and the regime are oriented to repress these mass movement. They want to preserve the slave-like conditions of the Filipino workers. An all-united national workers’ movement, supported by other sectors, will defeat this agenda. We urge the people to support Pepmaco workers,” he ended. ###

Makabayan lawmakers with Pepmaco workers. Photo by Pepmaco Workers Union.

Reference: Rep. Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao, Anakpawis Party-list