Last 29 April, in a press briefing by the labor federation Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and the All Workers Union, KMU Secretary General Jerome Adonis said “This First of May, we have a runaway president. BBM (Marcos), running away from the workers who have legitimate demands.”
Adonis elaborated that the major demands of workers include living wage, decent working conditions and the right to union and freedom of association. He also condemned the government’s lack of action on the ILO High Level Tripartite Mission recommendations, saying culture of impunity worsens as another worker was killed in Bacolod.
In the briefing, Sarah Prestoza, Vice Chair of BPO Industry Employees Network (BIEN) Philippines pointed out that when “we organise a union to insist our fundamental rights, the government does not defend us. We suffer harassment, red-tagging and killings.”
The body of BIEN member and union organizer, Alex Dolorosa, was found in Barangay Alijis, Bacolod City, on 24 April. Dolorosa was seen still alive the night before. He and other union activists have been subjected to heavy surveillance, threats, slanders in the social media and subjection to false charges, reported Bien Philippines.
Ang Bayan, Communist Party of the Philippines’ news organ, reported last 27 April that the Labor Day march rally was being onganized by a bigger coalition, All Philippine Trade Unions (APTU), composed of the KMU, Nagkaisa! Labor Coalition, Trade Union of the Philippines (TUCP), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) and other confederations. The APTU was formed last January in connection with the Philippine submission of the report on the situation of workers in the country Philippines to the ILO High Level Tripartite Mission.
“The workers are together for the fight for higher wages. We will March from Mendiola (Malacañan) to the US Embassy. Where ever BBM is, we will make sure he will hear our voices,” said Adonis.