Labor groups endorse ‘pro-labor candidates’

Labor groups endorsing their senatorial candidates. (Photo by Fred Dabu/Bulatlat)

These senatorial hopefuls vowed to put forward the interests of workers and the Filipino people should they win in the senatorial race.


MANILA – On International Labor Day, labor groups endorsed ‘pro-people candidates’ who they deemed will fight for their rights in the Senate.

The senatorial candidates together with other groups marching from Chino Roces bridge (former Mendiola) to Liwasang Bonifacio. (Photo by Carlo Manalansan/Bulatlat)

After marching from Welcome Rotunda to Chino Roces Bridge (former Mendiola Bridge), labor groups marched again to Liwasang Bonifacio to name their bets in the senatorial race. Among them are senatorial candidates under the Labor Win alliance: Neri Colmenares, Leody De Guzman, Sonny Matula, Ernesto Arellano and Allan Montaño. They also endorsed senatorial candidates from Otso Diretso, Jose Manuel “Chel Diokno and Erin Tañada.

These senatorial hopefuls vowed to put forward the interests of workers and the Filipino people should they win in the senatorial race.

Senatorial candidate Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno. (Photo by Fred Dabu/Bulatlat)

Workers’ groups presented the Labor Agenda 2019 which include:

1) End contractualization.
2) Legislate a minimum wage.
3) Affordable and low prices.
4) Benefits for workers.
5) Occupational health and safety.
6) Respect right to self-organization.
7) Vote for overseas Filipino workers and migrants’ rights.
8) Oppose all forms of child labor.
9) Stop trade union oppression.
10) End unfair trade agreements and poverty.

Senatorial candidate Erin Tanada. (Photo by Fred Dabu/Bulatlat)

Kilusang Mayo Uno executive vice chairman Lito Ustarez said their challenge to the senatorial candidates is to bring this agenda to the Senate. He said these candidates commitment to the labor agenda will be the fulfillment of their long time calls.

Tañada meanwhile said people should unite in the last stretch of the campaign period so that the labor agenda will surely be brought to the legislature.

Different sectors also present their challenges to the senatorial candidates including the creation of jobs in the country so that no Filipinos have to leave their families just to work abroad. (Photo by A. M. Umil/Bulatlat)

He also stressed the need for a national minimum wage as the prices of commodities and utilities in the provinces are more expensive and yet, workers receive minimum wage as low as P256 ($5).

Meanwhile, Colmenares said through the social media that the pro-labor senatorial candidates have four most pressing tasks:

1. Increase workers’ wages through the re-establishment of a national minimum wage based on a realistic and decent cost of living. Current proposals of around P750 per day is a reasonable starting point.
2. Prohibit abusive contractual labor arrangements. Endo or labor only contracting is actually already prohibited under Labor Law. What the Senate should ban is the use of contractual labor to replace what should be regular jobs in a company
3. Raise pensions for retired workers who deserve pensions that can provide for their most basic needs. The remaining P1,000 increase in SSS pensions should be given so retirees can cope with the increase in prices of goods since last year.
4. Lower prices of goods and services by removing TRAIN’s added tax on fuel and other goods, removing or reducing VAT on power, water & fuel, and preventing overpricing and other monopoly practices by cartels.

Ustarez meanwhile reiterated that whatever the results of the elections, these groups who committed to fight for the workers’ rights will not falter. “We will be together in the struggle, in the Senate or in the parliament of the streets,” he said.

Makabayam bloc vow to continuously push for pro-people policies in the House of Representatives despite repression and red-tagging schemes. (Photo by Fred Dabu/Bulatlat)

Colmenares also said through the social media, “Regardless of election outcomes, this is an important moment in history when we acknowledge a Labor Vote, which is ultimately the power of the labor sector to choose and put a pro-worker agenda in the Senate. Kailangang maipagpatuloy pa ang electoral engagement na ito! Mabuhay ang ating manggagawa!” (



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