05 March 2012
PUP contractuals go on strike for
Joined by hundreds of their supporters from the university community and
fellow workers, more than a hundred contractual janitors of the
Polytechnic University of the Philippines went on strike today to call for
The workers, many of whom have been working for the university for decades
and were employed by a contractor, were laid off from work following the
entry of employment agency Carebest into the campus.
Last Feb. 16, the workers held a protest against their retrenchment and
were met in a dialogue by PUP OIC Estelita dela Rosa who signed a
memorandum of agreement stating that the workers will be absorbed by
Carebest after they have submitted a set of requirements in two weeks.
After a few days, however, dela Rosa refused to recognize the MOA.
“Many of us have been working for the university for decades. We should
have been recognized as regulars by now but instead we were booted out
from work. We’re being treated like rags, thrown into the trashcan after
being useful,” said Rey Cogomoc, SJPUP president.
“We are fighting for our reinstatement. We have fought hard before to
receive the minimum wage mandated by law and to be reinstated and we have
won in both cases. We have the resolve to fight until we are reinstated,”
KMU, of which the SJPUP-National Federation of Labor Unions is an
affiliate, said the PUP janitors’ plight reflects the situation of
contractuals in the country.
“Contractual workers will not be forever silent about their retrenchment
from work or from the violation of their basic rights as workers. As the
PUP workers have shown, contractuals are fighting back for their rights,”
said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“The Filipino workers and people are angry at contractualization as an
employment scheme. We will continue supporting contractuals’ struggle
against retrenchment, for reinstatement, and regularization,” he added.
KMU called for the passage of House Bill 5110, otherwise known as the
Regular Employment Bill, filed by Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Rafael Mariano
which seeks to ban the contracting out of labor in the country.
“We are calling on the Filipino workers and people, who are angry at
contractualization, to unite and fight for the junking of this most
anti-labor of employment schemes,” Labog said.
Reference: Rey Cogomoc, SJPUP-NAFLU-KMU president, 0929-4202460
Elmer "Bong" Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597
Anakbayan backs PUP janitors’ strike, calls for
support from youths and students
by ANAKBAYAN on Mar 5, 2012
The youth group Anakbayan expressed its support to 180
laid-off janitors of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, as the
latter established a ‘strike picket line’ in the campus today.
The 180, despite some having worked for more than two decades in the
University, are all contractual employees. After reporting for work last
February 16, they were informed that they would be replaced by the
janitors of a new labor sub-contracting agency. They held a protest within
the campus, pressuring the PUP Administration to accept ‘absorbing’ the
180 janitors alongside the new ones. Since then, the Administration has
refused to honor its previous commitment, leading to the janitors’ protest
Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan’s national chairperson, called the lay-off of
the 180 ‘a clear case of union-busting’.
“Despite being contractual employees, the PUP janitors have their own,
duly-recognized union: the Samahan ng Janitors sa PUP (SJPUP). The SJPUP
has been recognized by the PUP Administration as a ‘bargaining unit’. By
removing the members of the SJPUP, the campus admin will have a free hand
in installing docile workers who will silently accept miserable wages and
zero benefits” said the youth leader.
Crisostomo called on his fellow youths and students to support the
janitors, saying that the Aquino administration might ‘crush’ the
janitors’ protest to show its commitment to upholding the anti-worker,
anti-poor ‘labor contractualization policy’.
“From incoming graduates, drop-outs, call center agents, to TESDA
graduates, we all share a common cause with the PUP janitors: the struggle
for job security, decent jobs, benefits, and right to organize. As long as
we are contractual workers, employers and capitalists will have no fear at
all in denying us our rights. The struggle of the PUP 180 is the struggle
of the Filipino youth and working class” he added.
Meanwhile, the youth leader enjoined the millions of working Filipino
youths to form Anakbayan chapters in their factories, offices, and farms
as a way of ‘circumventing’ strict anti-union policies.
“While we are being denied our right to form a union, young workers can
form Anakbayan chapters as a way of building up their collective strength
even without a union” he said.