The capitalist system had died, but it has risen once again like a profit-hungry zombie sucking the blood of the working class, especially of poor nations.
Neo-liberal capitalism and its twin elite democracy have died many deaths in the uprisings of the working class around the world – In the sandstorms of the Arab Spring, the cyclones of the Occupy Movement in First World countries, and the grassroots eruptions in Europe.
But in countries like ours, the marriage of capitalism and elite democracy, continues to wreak a century-old reign of poverty, misery and untold suffering into the lives of its poor citizens.
Capitalism is dead. The promises of progress and development shattered by its own implosions – the recessions and stock market crashes that have sent economies around the world into a deathly spin.
But it has risen, with virulent cruelty, and banal forms of exploitation — contractualization, decreasing real wages, and increasing costs of utilities and public services as a result of privatization and deregulation.
It has risen because the financial glitches that sent it tumbling down, and the economic mismanagement that continue to plague its global reign, are continuously rejuvenated thru State bailouts. Meanwhile workers are left with massive unemployment and the proliferation of low quality and migrant jobs. Women and the youth continue to swell the ranks of the unemployed and underemployed.
It has risen, and continues to haunt us like the horrific undead, not because they are strong. But because we, the workers, continue to be weak and fragmented. Workers have been forced to compete against poorer workers around the world thru the free traffic of cheap migrant labor. Workers have been pushed to fight against workers here in our country thru medieval labor laws and primitive institutions. This, and the incessant repression against organized labor, has decimated our ranks. And through the promotion of a new technologically-enhanced capitalistic dream world – new generations of workers refuse to see themselves as members of a working class, and thus, remain unorganized.
Yet, we, the downtrodden, battle weary, homeless and exploited, must now recognize that we are the many, made as batteries of the economy that feeds the greedy few.
We — by our toil in strange deserts and far away lands, bowed in farms and factories, employed in all kinds of services — are the true creators of our nation’s wealth.
And we must begin to effectively and consistently attack this systematic enslavement today, or the next generations, our offsprings, will suffer a heavier, more backbreaking and dehumanizing yoke.
We must begin to realize our powers as collective creators of wealth, who feed our families and send our children to school, and by that, we start to recognize that our power increases exponentially as we become more organized and swell our ranks.
We, the Filipino working class, must vow to reverse this reign of blood-sucking terror of a failed system, that only continues the concentration of wealth and political power amongst the elite big business, both foreign and local, and their political henchmen.
We must commit ourselves to the inclusion of non-employed working class, the unorganized in both the public and private sectors, the small entrepreneurs in the underground economy, the marginalized women who remain invisible, the growing ranks of young brainworkers in the digital industries and the migrant workers.
We must forge a new consciousness of working class identity and power through solid organizing and enlightened education.
We must be instruments of unity within our ranks, enhancing our skills as union managers and public leaders, and reach out beyond our organizational lines, to other workers’ groups, and to the unorganized. We must deepen democracy thru consensus and collaborative multi-form struggles.
We must not only defend, but also expand, our collective rights towards a more enhanced and pluralist democracy and greater economic power. We must recognize the different formations of power and exploitation in all levels of our lives – learn to utilize these powers thru collective action and vanquish all emanations of subordinations and dehumanization.
We must help rejuvenate the labor movement through industry and sectoral unionism and intensify our struggles, not only in every shop floor where we toil, in every community where we eke our lives, but also in every country where migrant workers grind away to earn a better life.
We must be leaders not only of our unions, but also of our communities. We must realize thru consistent action, that power, ultimately resides in the many. And we are the many.
On this day, the 12th of April 2012, the leaders and members of the following workers’ organizations and labor unions, vow to pursue these causes and collective missions, and by this, makes the first step among many, to forge, and strengthen the unity, goals and principles of the Sentro ng Progresibong Manggagawa hereby known as SENTRO.
Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)– APL Youth –Automotive Industry Workers’ Alliance (AIWA)–Federation of Coca-Cola Unions (FCCU) — Kapatiran ng Maralitang Obrero (KAMAO)– League of Independent Bank Organizations (LIBO)– MARINO– National Alliance of Broadcast Unions (NABU)– National Confederation of Transportworkers Union (NCTU)– National Union of Workers in Hotel, Restaurant and Allied Industries (NUWHRAIN)– Philippine Independent Public Sector Employees Association (PIPSEA)– Philippine Metalworkers’ Alliance (PMA)– Pinag-isang Tinig at Lakas ng Anak-Pawis (PIGLAS)– PKI Employees Welfare Union (PEWU)– Postal Employees Union of the Philippines (PEUP)–Workers’ Solidarity Network (WSN)