mayo 1Akbayan party-list today joins SENTRO and Nagkaisa coaliton in commemorating Labor Day, joining calls for security of jobs instead of death and violence against the poor.

The working class has a right to decent wages and continuously improving living conditions, which seem to have been lost in the noise of violence and death surrounding their poverty-stricken communities with a violent, cruel campaign on drugs victimizing the poor.

The government instead needs to prioritize the creation of jobs and livelihoods not a myopic drug campaign that kills the poor. 

Dahil pagkatapos ng isang taon sa puwesto wala pa ding maipakitang konkretong plano ang gubyerno kung paano sosolusyunan ang kahirapan na siyang ugat ng droga at krimen sa lipunan. 

We dare the Duterte administration to follow through on its commitment to solve the rampant problem of contractualization in the country, kung saan naiiwang lugi ang mga manggagawa habang nakakatakas sa responsibilidad ang mga kapitalista sa pagbabayad ng tamang sahod, buwis at benepisyo.

Ang bawat nanay, tatay, kuya at ate na nagtatrabaho para  sa kinabukasan ng kanilang pamilya ay nakukulong sa kahirapan dahil kada anim na buwan ay kailangan nilang maghanap ng panibagong trabaho. Workers who do not have to fear the uncertainty of layoffs, redundancy and retrenchent every six months are in a better position to provide for their families.  

Hindi mangagagawa at hindi mga unyon ang kalaban, kundi ang di-pantay na lipunan kung saan patuloy na naghihirap ang manggagawa habang iilan lamang ang patuloy na lumalangoy sa sobrang kita. This government therefore needs to demonstrate that it can decisively deflect the lobbying of elites such as  employers groups, taipans and conglomerates that funded its electoral bid and side with workers in their pursuit of justice against oppression. 

Instead what has so far been achieved is only to inflict violence, fear, hatred and death on Filipino workers. Instead of pushing more workers out of poverty, Duterte said it was only natural for poor people to die in the drug war. Instead of promoting unity and harmony, the administration has pursued cruel and inhumane legislation on death penalty and the Batang Bilanggo bill.

Akbayan instead calls for the certification as urgent of its security of tenure bill lodged in Congress, as the appropriate solution, not keeping workers in suspense with promises timed for Labor Day. There is an entire suite of legislative proposals pending in both houses of Congress that will advance workers' rights, aside from that which deals with cntractualization. Other bills such as on strengthening workers' rights to organize, bills on occupational safety, and the bill epxanding the period for maternity leave for working mothers -- all deserve support as they alleviate the working class's plight one step at a time.

Ang karapatan ng manggagawa ay mapoprotektahan lamang kung ito ay batas, at hindi nakadepende sa pangako lamang ng pangulo. Dahil walang magiging kalayaan para sa uring manggagawa kung patuloy lamang ang gubyerno sa pagsamba sa altar ng kamatayan at kakalungin lamang ang mga mandarambong na alyado sa pulitika.