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MANILA, Philippines – Several groups will hold activities and mass protests across the country on Tuesday, May 1, to observe Labor Day.
Every May 1, hundreds of Filipino laborers come together and fill the streets with a familiar rallying cry: “Mabuhay ang manggagawang Pilipino!” (Long live the Filipino worker!). The goal of the demonstrations is to bring to the forefront issues such as fair remuneration and labor export policies. (READ: PH Labor Day: A history of struggle)
The series of activities this year come on the heels of “a series of workshop mishaps” in the country, including the collapse of a bunkhouse in Cebu City in March 2018 that killed 5 construction workers, the March 2018 Manila Pavilion Hotel fire that killed 5 workers, and the collapse of a tower crane in a Pasay City construction site that killed two on April 10, 2018.
Citing these incidents, at least two labor groups held a prayer and candle-lighting ceremony on Saturday, April 28, to call for better working conditions for all Filipino workers.
Here is a running list of activities for Tuesday:
- Department of Labor and Employment
- In partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said it organized 53 Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) fairs on Thursday. Check this link for the list of venues nationwide.
Protests and other activities:
- Metro Manila
- Workers Against Contractualization (WAC) will gather at 7am at the various assembly points: Sta. Cruz Church, Plaza Sta. Cruz, Isetann Recto, Metropolitan theatre. March to Mendiola. Members of the WAC from Marikina City are expected from the Concepcion Church to Marikina Bridge at 6:30 am.
- Nagkaisa Labor Coalition and the Kilusang Mayo Uno will hold a series of protest activities in Metro Manila carrying the following theme: “Tuloy ang laban, wakasan ang kontraktwalisasyon.” (The fight continues, end contractualization). Members of the two labor groups will gather along España Street, Jollibee Welcome Rotonda and at the Maceda street before converging in Mendiola at 10 am for the program.
- Calamba City
- Members of the WAC will gather at the Liana’s Supermart along National road in Brgy Parian, Calamba and at the Science Park in Brgy Real, Calamba before converging to the Crossing, Calamba, Laguna for the program scheduled at 9 am. Various unions from the Calabarzon region are expected to join the protest in Calamba City.
- Cebu City
- Members of the WAC group will hold a protest from 9 am to 11 am at theSM North Reclamation where President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled to deliver his Labor Day speech at 10 am.
- At 8 am on Tuesday, the Cebu Citizens’ Assembly will gather at the Sto. Rosario Church before marching to Metro Gaisano along Colon street in Cebu City.
- Bacolod City
- The delegation of the WAC in Bacolod City will assemble at the Rizal Park in Bacolod City at 1pm before marching to Bacolod City Plaza to culminate the activity with a program at the Fountain of Justice. Expected to join the march are associations of sugar workers, rural poor from across the Negros province, and members of the 3 unions belonging to the Coca-Cola corporation who face possible retrenchment.
- Iloilo City
- The Coca Cola Union in Iloilo City will hold a lightning rally at the Jaro plaza at 7 am.
- Tacloban City
- At 8am on Tuesday, members of the United Sales Force Union – Tacloban, DBSN Farm union from Albuera, and associations of vendors and student activists from Leyte are expected to assemble at the UP Tacloban Oblation for the WAC-organized protest for Labor Day.
- Davao City
- Members of the Nagkaisa Labor Coalition and the Kilusang Mayo Uno will gather at the Orcullo Park in Davao City at 8 am.
- General Santos City
- Labor union groups and the families and victims of the Malisbong Massacre will gather at the Mindanao State University covered court in General Santos City. Senator Risa Hontiveros along with other local officials and guests will join the event.
We are updating this article as more advisories come in. – Rappler.com