Contributed to The Pamalakaya Times
No holiday in protesting Arroyo’s job massacres
Even the spirit of Christmas failed to put off the Arroyo government’s layoff plans, as it directed the sudden retrenchment of at least 700 Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC) employees working in the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), according to Kilusang Mayo Uno.
KMU said Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita’s directive to hasten the turnover of SLEX’s operations to Manila Toll Expressway Systems (MATES) is “clear proof of Arroyo’s itch for job massacres”
“With the Palace hand clearly jutting out of the mass layoff in SLEX, Arroyo has further earned the ire of Filipino workers. And with that, she will never enjoy a holiday break from workers’ condemnation and wrath,” said KMU Chairperson Elmer “Bong” Labog.
“Layoff victims, especially, have every right to make her Christmas an uneasy one. Protests will surely knock her out of the holiday mood,” he added.
North Harbor retrenchment
Labog said aside from the retrenchment of SLEX workers, at least 7,000 port workers and vendors in North Harbor in Manila face a “jobless New Year” as winning bidders take over the port terminal on Jan. 1, 2010.
“The layoffs in SLEX and North Harbor are fine examples of how privatization works as an anti-labor policy prescribed by foreign institutions like the World Bank,” said Labog.
“But history proves that privatization, which only benefits private corporations at the expense of workers, has been met with strong and united actions of workers, not only in our country but in many parts of the world.
“We urge SLEX and North Harbor workers to continue their fight for livelihood and unite with other workers in making this regime pay up for its crimes against the people,” he added.