Workers led by Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and Anakpawis Partylist held a picket-protest on Thursday in front of the Department of Labor and Employment to slam its vain efforts to project to the public that it is assisting calamity-stricken workers by providing emergency jobs for only around 1,450 affected workers all over Luzon.
KMU said the government’s emergency employment program in the aftermath of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng is an incorrect response to the calamity and will create poverty traps. KMU explained that it will only turn workers with regular jobs into short-term wage earners.
“Consistent with its promotion of precarious work despite the economic slump, the Arroyo regime has even used the grave damage wrought by the typhoons to transform regular workers into contractual and low-paid ones. This scheme certainly leaves us more vulnerable to the effects of calamities and the worsening economic crisis,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“With the expiration of emergency work, how can you expect jobless and homeless workers to rebuild their lives with only around P5,730 after the 15-day cleanup and declogging operations? Can you expect them to find decent work when the government itself consistently promotes poor quality and low-earning jobs? This regime is really keeping us mired in poverty rather than assisting in the recovery,” he added.
(Photo courtesy of Kilusang Mayo Uno)