By Nelson Flores, Ll.B., MSCK
THE Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilpino-National Capital Region and Rizal on Wednesday filed a “notice of strike” before Malacañang in a last ditch effort to compel the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to do something about erosion of the purchasing capability of the poor due go the rising cost of living brought about by his continued adherence to the neoliberal policies he inherited from the previous Aquino administration.
The BMP-NCRR noted that despite the overwhelming calls for economic relief from various legislators and cause oriented groups, Duterte has remained indifferent and continued to defend his policies to the extent of calling those seeking relief “crybabies.”
“Our backs are pushed against the wall. We have no choice other than to resort to collective action in order to force this insensitive and rabid pro-capitalist administration to heed the people’s clamor,” said Ronald Sabareza, chairperson of the BMP-NCRR affiliated Metro East Labor Federation (MELF).
According to the BMP-NCRR, it is only proper for them to file their symbolic notice of strike before Malacañang and not the labor department because Duterte is the standing “chief executive officer” of backward-capitalist Philippine society.
Sabareza added that “his (Duterte) office represents and embodies the interests of the local oligarchs and multinational corporations.”
Earlier, the BMP demanded the repeal of the Tax Reformation for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, the immediate institution of “price control” on all basic commodities, the implementation of the PhP750 national minimum wage, and the abolition of all forms of contractual employment. (Read More: http://beyonddeadlines.com/2018/05/31/socialist-labor-group-bmp-calls-on-malacanang-to-do-something-about-the-spiraling-cost-of-living/)
“Since our demands fell on deaf ears of Malacañang, as in collective bargaining negotiations, we have declared a refusal to bargain and a deadlock. We also resort to the customary 30-day cooling-off period to break the impasse by preparing to strike. This work stoppage would not limit itself to industrial action by unionists. We welcome every Filipino, from all regions of the country, to protest and unleash their creative indignation against spiraling inflation,” Sabareza said.
Meanwhile, Manny Toribio of the urban poor group Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML), said that they shall support and merge forces with organized labor in protest. He added that as urban poor, they have been on the “losing end of the new tax measures since informal workers have not benefited from personal income tax exemptions and was badly hit by the excise taxes on petroleum products and sugar sweetened beverages.”
On the other hand, Gie Relova, BMP-NCRR chairperson, said, “Our patience have been wearing thin as we are set in the middle of the millstones and inflation and taxation. We have no other recourse than to deny them our labor power – the force that moves the grinding wheels of commerce and industry – in order to compel them to face us in the negotiating tables and decisively address uncontrolled inflation.”
He concluded that the work stoppage may be held before or during the third State of the Nation Address of Duterte.