By Ben Serrano
Disgruntled workers and militant groups announced Monday they would hold massive protests in key Caraga cities in time of May 1 Labor Day celebration.
“The Caraga region-wide mass protest and march rallies will be held in 5 provinces Caraga region tomorrow. Disgruntled workers will join the Kilusang Mayo Uno member workers and officers commemorating Labor Day to air workers grievance and continuing struggle not only for fair, just compensation but also security of tenure of workers,” KMU-Caraga president Tito Tanduyan told Caraga News Courier.
Tanduyan said militant women’s group Gabriela, human rights group Karapatan, urban poor group Kadamay, League of Filipino Student, College Editor’s Guild Caraga chapter, several vendors groups, transport sector PISTON, Kabataan Partylist, Bayan Muna Caraga, religious groups IFI, UCCP and other sectors will join in the march protest rallies.
“As we assert labor rights, we knew we also have to balance it with importance of capital. That’s why there is a need for comprehensive understanding from both labor and capital sector to attain sustaining industrial peace. But foremost of our struggle is the continuing safeguard of workers’ rights and welfare all the time because majority if not all or entire members of labor sector are coming from marginalized poor who can’t defend themselves on legal and technicalities aspect,” Tanduyan said.
According to Tanduyan, that based on KMU, other labor groups data and records coinciding with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) data, there are about 48,790 workers in Caraga, who are either out of work, underemployed and no work, no jobs at all.
“Out of 37 companies doing business in Caraga region from mining to food retail, stores, groceries and malls, agricultural plantations and other business establishments, some 20,553 workers out of total 27,074 remained contractuals until now,” he said.
“And you will be surprised even those job order workers in government working at different town, city, provincial LGUs and national government agencies or regional offices majority of them are victims of contractualization, end of contract or endo or contact only scheme,” Tanduyan said.
“From May 2017 up to present, KMU and labor groups records like that of ALU-TUCP showed there are about 2, 414 workers terminated in ten mining companies alone. Until now, they have no work.”