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The militant grass-roots labor center, Kilusang Mayo Uno, has condemned the Aquino administration for the signing of two new labor laws which will hurt workers rights and lower the standard of living for workers all over the Philippines:
National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned Pres. Noynoy Aquino today for signing two new labor laws which attack workers’ rights, saying Filipino workers do not welcome the chief executive’s “Trojan horses” for workers this Labor Day.
KMU said tripartism, which is strengthened by the first of the two laws in creating the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council headed by the Labor Secretary, is actually the formal body to facilitate the collusion among the government, big capitalists and pro-business labor groups against workers.
It also said that compulsory arbitration, which is mandated by the second law, is an attack to workers’ right to strike, as it adds to the already numerous requirements for holding strikes.
“We condemn Pres. Aquino for signing these bills into law. The government tries to package these laws as pro-labor, but these actually signal an intensification of violations of workers’ rights,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“These laws show that Aquino continues to serve big capitalists by offering cheap and repressed labor. He is trying to tighten control over workers in order to ensure big capitalists’ profits amidst crisis conditions,” he added.
It also said the new laws jibe with the Labor Secretary’s power to assume jurisdiction over labor disputes, legalized by Republic Act 6715 or the Herrera Law, an amendment to the country’s Labor Code.
“The Aquino government is launching a comprehensive attack on workers’ wages, job security and trade-union rights. It is making existing labor laws worse for the country’s workers,” Labog said.
“Workers are angered by the government’s attempt to package its anti-labor policies as pro-labor. Workers know that their situation has gotten worse because of tripartism and compulsory arbitration and the Aquino government,” he added.
The labor leader said the new laws will push more and more workers to join protests before and after this year’s Labor Day.