Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) led today the filing of a House resolution seeking an inquiry on the subcontracting practice of SM malls and on the working conditions of SM workers amid the labor department’s failure to inspect the mall chain for labor standards violations.
In filing House Resolution 1121, GWP said it is urging the House Committee on Labor and Employment to investigate the contractualization in SM as the committee also tackles 24 measures on security of tenure and regular employment.
“It is about time that Congress looks into Sy’s ‘Endo empire’ and the working conditions of hundreds of thousands of contractual workers in it, in line with President Duterte’s promise to end Endo or contractualization. Panahon na para aksyunan ng Kongreso ang matagal nang suspetsa ng publiko – na biktima ang SM workers ng masahol na kontraktwalisasyon,” said GWP Rep. Emmi De Jesus.
Citing HR 1121, De Jesus said SM claimed it has only 65,000 regular employees in 2016 while at the same time claiming in an earlier period that it employs 220,751. “Does this mean that roughly three-fourths of SM employees are indirectly employed under different contractors? Our colleagues at the House should investigate this,” she said.
The resolution also pointed out that one out of five non-regular Filipino workers, which includes contractual workers, are in the wholesale and retail trade sector of which the SM mall business is the top player.
“Isang mainam na pagkakataon ang imbestigasyon sa SM bilang test case para alamin ng ating mga kasamahan sa Kongreso ang latag ng kontraktwalisasyon partikular sa wholesale and retail trade,” De Jesus said.
For her part, GWP Rep. Arlene Brosas underscored the necessity of the House probe in light of the pronouncements of President Duterte and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on ending contractualization.
“Seryoso tayo na wakasan ang kontraktwalisasyon. At seryoso rin tayong itulak ang Pangulo at mga sangay ng gobyerno kabilang ang Mababang Kapulungan para totohanin ito,” Rep. Brosas said, adding that GWP has filed House Bill 1045 or the Regular Employment Bill.
Brosas said Gabriela will participate in the huge People’s SONA mobilization on July 24 with calls for regular jobs, decent housing and lifting of martial law. She said they are also in support of the ongoing #KamPOBREro campout in Mendiola against contractualization by workers from different regions. #