ANAKPAWIS party-list Representative Ariel Casilao has said in a statement that the Department of Labor and Employment should walk its talk in terms of asserting its order to big corporations to regularize workers. DOLE has ordered Jollibee Foods Corporation to regularize its 6,482 workers.
Casilao averred that the regularization orders issued by the department since the assumption of the new administration have yet to bear concrete results in securing the employment tenure of contractual workers since they were largely ignored by concerned companies.
Under its present leadership, DOLE had issued regularization orders to Burger King, Coca Cola and PLDT. The three companies would combine a total of 9,379 workers ordered for regularization, with the PLDT having the most number at 8,000 workers. The order to Coca Cola was issued over a year ago but the company had defied the DOLE issuance. It even dismissed the employees covered by the regularization order.
Because of their dismissal, Coca Cola workers have again gone on strike. But their strike in Davao City, led by the Kilusang Manggagawa sa Coca Cola (KIMACO), was violently dispersed and their leaders were arrested last week. The dispersal and arrest was made by Davao City police upon the order of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
“The latest DOLE order is welcome but DOLE leadership must go beyond issuing orders. It must assert its authority. It must enforce its orders. The orders have amounted to nothing because companies, especially the big corporations, are getting away from them without getting a rap on their shoulders.”, Casilao said.
Contractual scheme for decades not only destroys the unity of workers to collectively assert their rights, said the lawmaker.
In effect, it violates the basic rights of the workers to form a union to represent them in collective bargaining as well as securing security of tenure, he added.
The lawmaker said it has also resulted to depreciation of workers’ salaries even as companies practicing contractual scheme spread disunity among the workers.
“This is the situation millions of workers are facing every day; the uncertainty of tenure. When they assert their right, they will face state-sponsored fascism as corporation employed police to disperse their ranks”, Casilao said.