House Deputy Speaker and human rights advocate Lorenzo “Erin” R. Tañada III called for the removal of contractualization and declaring it as illegal in our labor laws.
“The fight for just wages is further complicated by the security of tenure of our workers. They have been bearing the brunt of globalization and cut-throat competition of businesses. It is just but proper for them to have security of tenure after having proven that they are qualified and competent for the job. They should only be removed for cause,” Tañada said.
He expounded though that the outlawing of contractualization will find deeper meaning if there is an honest –to-goodness economic development plan that provides a rational link between our agriculture, industry and service sectors with due regard to the challenges of the environment and climate change. He also encouraged the creation of more social enterprises – worker-managed, community-based and supported by both local and national governments.
“ There are several models that are currently working – the Altertrade in Negros, producing exportable muscovado sugar, owned by former sacadas is one nice model to look at,” he cited.
He also called for profit-sharing schemes, productivity-based wage increases, allowing workers to have equity or shares in the company, done in the full spirit of transparency with regard to the company’s financials. Doing so will create an environment of mutual trust and respect between workers and the management and both parties will strive to make the business survive without cutting down wages and the number of workers.
He expressed high hopes that a just wage with security of tenure is possible under the Pnoy administration.