Aquino has granted only “measly wage hikes, promoted contractualization even more, made demolitions of urban poor communities more brutal, and colluded with the oil cartel.” – KMU
By MARYA SALAMAT
MANILA –Some 100,000 working people and youth marched simultaneously in various cities of the Philippines on Labor Day, May 1. In the capital, an estimated 20,000 marched under the scorching sun and sudden downpour late in the afternoon. All over the Philippines they uniformly condemned, in various languages, the Aquino government’s inaction on people’s hunger and poverty. In fact, they blamed the government of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III for pushing the working people deeper into poverty.
Labor leaders took turns lambasting Aquino’s supposed programs for helping the poor as bogus and palliative, not offering real solutions or at worst, even contributing to their worsening poverty.
“Pres. Aquino did nothing to lessen hunger and poverty among workers and the poor,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, chairman of labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno that led the bigger May 1 rallies all over the Philippines. Labog said Aquino has failed to heed the demands of workers and poor people who suffered for more than nine years under the past administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Arroyo, who preceded Aquino as president, had given the lowest real wage hikes to workers on record, according to independent think tank Ibon Philippines. Also under Arroyo’s watch, bloody dispersals of picketlines and strikes happened, giving rise to the now infamous “Hacienda Luisita massacre” and the killings of Nestle´ union leaders.
Aquino’s effigy as a US’ pitbull (Photo by Marya Salamat / bulatlat.com)
P125 and P6,000 wage hikes
Government employees, teachers and health workers, including their family members who joined the rally, scoffed at Aquino’s “surprise package.”.... MORE