With the 2016 elections occupying the air and time of most of the country’s politicians, the labor coalition Nagkaisa! today hit both the current administration and political wannabes, “for putting their personal political ambitions above the pressing demands of the working class.”
Nagkaisa!, the biggest labor coalition in the country today, led a march by thousands of workers from the Mabuhay Welcome Rotonda to the historic Mendiola Bridge, in commemoration of the 151st day of working class hero, Andres Bonifacio.
“Despite its open channels for communication with labor, we remain disappointed with this administration because the weight of anti-labor policies remain in full force. And this early we feel the same degree of apprehension seeing the possible 2016 line up, practically the same parties and personas,” said Nagkaisa! in a statement.
Marching under the theme, “Hanap ng manggagawa: Makamanggagawang lider ng bansa”, workers from different unions and labor organizations voiced out their indignation over the anti-labor policies that remain intact under the Aquino administration which include:
– the intensifying degree of contractualization,
– cheap labor,
– high cost of power and other goods and services, and
– the deepening inequality under the regime of jobless growth.
The group said the same problem will hound the 2016 candidates, adding that the more the working class are getting frustrated with the presumed failure of “tuwid na daan” the more they will be looking for better ones.
“Unfortunately we still don’t see ‘Bonifacio-type’ leaders from the present crop of politicians,” conceded Nagkaisa!
The group cited as example the way the foreign-backed economic cha-cha is winning the vote of the members of Congress (possibly before Christmas as announced by Speaker Belmonte) compared to the workers’ wage hike and security of tenure bills.
The group said when they say ‘Bonfacio-type’, they refer to men and women leaders who will commit themselves to the immediate and long-term agenda of the working class.
“They who can provide full protection to labor; say NO to the dictates of IMF-WB and foreign powers; dismantle political dynasty; stop corporate fraud; and provide quality public service to all our people,” stressed the group.
The group is preparing for direct actions next year. At the same time it will craft political strategies for effective electoral intervention come 2016.