Filipino workers and labor groups mounted protests on Labor Day, May 1, to push for labor rights and economic aid, and called for a stop to human rights violations.
In Metro Manila, groups led by Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) converged along EDSA-Cubao to commence their Labor Day activities, demanding higher wages and protesting against the rising prices of goods and services.
KMU, Gabriela Women’s Party, Anak Pawis, ACT Teachers, marched to Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City to show their support for Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan. These groups, which are part of the progressive Makabayan coalition, have earlier expressed their support for the tandem.
The group later on united in Araneta Coliseum where they welcomed Robredo and Pangilinan and brought cards bearing their demands for workers.
But the protests didn’t only happen in Metro Manila.
In Baguio City, progressive groups also joined the nationwide Labor Day commemoration. The commemoration was led by workers and urban poor communities as they highlighted the continuing economic crisis made worse by the pandemic and a relentless oil price hike.
That is why, according to Kilusang Mayo Uno Cordillera spokesperson Mike Cabangon, voters should support candidates that represent the interests of the people. He urged the public to vote for Makabayan senatorial candidates Neri Colmenares and Elmer Labog, who also joined the Labor Day protest in Quezon City.
In Iloilo, labor groups including All UP Academic Employees Union, Bayan Panay, and Gabriela gathered at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol grounds.
With only a few days before the high-stakes elections on May 9, the labor day protests also served as an appeal to national candidates to address labor rights issues following the attacks on labor leaders and groups.
Members of Gabriela Panay-Guimaras also demanded justice for slain Ilonggo activist Jory Porquia, who was shot in his residence on April 30, 2020, while serving as the Coordinator for Bayan Panay’s community kitchen.
Meanwhile, in Dumaguete City, fisherfolk held a fluvial protest at the waters off Rizal Boulevard against the proposed 174-hectare Smart City reclamation project.
In a statement, the #NoTo174Dumaguete coalition said that the reclamation project will not uplift the lives of Dumaguete’s workers, but will only benefit the wealthy.
Various sectors from transport, women, youth, seniors, and LGBTQIA+ also joined the labor day protest.