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10th year of legalization of contractualization marked with nationwide protests

Thursday, February 23, 2012

10th year of legalization of contractualization marked with nationwide protests

“Contractuals who comprise the majority of the country’s workers receive lower wages, do not receive benefits, have no job security, and are denied their trade union rights.” – KMU
By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Last Thursday February 16, the hundred-plus janitors of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) were gripped with terror when they reported for work and found almost 200 new workers ready to take over their jobs. The new janitorial agency contracted by the university had brought in new people.

“We wasted no time,” said Rey Cagomo, president of the janitors’ organization, the Samahan ng Janitors sa Polytechnic University of the Philippines (SJPUP). They assembled themselves, brought in a sound system, laid down placards on the ground and started a program. “We showed the PUP administration that we are united and determined to fight for our jobs and our lives,” Cagomo said.

What was supposed to be an ordinary working day for the janitors turned into a picket-protest in front of the PUP main building, as they demanded to be retained in their job and be absorbed as regular workers of the university.

Their mass action prompted the PUP administration to hold a dialogue with the union, together with representatives of students and teachers. They later crafted an agreement, which stipulated that the workers will be absorbed by the new agency for a one-year contract.

Workers under the banner of Kilusang Mayo Uno call for a stop to contractualization in a rally Feb. 20.(Photo by Marya Salamat/ bulatlat.com)
The workers viewed the temporary victory as just “another step forward” in their struggle to become regular employees of the university. “We will be absorbed, which is good, but still as contractuals,” said Cagomo.

Apparently, such struggle happens on a yearly basis for these janitors who have been working in PUP for many years now. “Every year, we face the prospect that we will not be absorbed by the new agency to which the PUP administration will grant a new contract,” Cagomo said.

Scourge of Filipino workers

More than 60-percent of Filipino workers today suffer the same job insecurity. In fact, they have coined a name for it — “endo,” short for end of contract. Most workers suffer this every three to five months..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/02/22/10th-year-of-legalization-of-contractualization-marked-with-nationwide-protests/

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