Lawmakers belonging to Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) urged on Wednesday the House panel on labor and employment to pass a measure that bans labor contractualization, including arrangements deemed as “legal” under the labor department’s order.
At a House committee meeting today, the two GWP solons called on House members and the labor department to support House Bill No. 1045 or the “Regular Employment Bill” which provides for the regularization of employees performing functions that are vital to the company.
“House Bill No. 1045 seeks to stop the scourge of contractualization by mandating the regularization of all workers performing usually necessary and desirable functions to the principal enterprise,” GWP Rep. Emmi De Jesus said in her sponsorship speech.
De Jesus said Article 280 of the Labor Code is clear in stipulating “usually necessary and desirable” as basis for regularization.
She explained that companies use contracting and subcontracting to farm out even functions that are vital to their operations, citing the case of Philippine Airlines (PAL) which tapped third party service providers for its ground operations.
“This sinister anti-worker scheme, which is a Marcosian legacy as contained in the 1974 Labor Code or Presidential Decree 442, should be immediately stopped,” De Jesus said, echoing the mounting sentiment against the rehabilitation of the Marcos family.
Under Gabriela’s HB 1045, the employee-employer relationship exists between the principal enterprise and contractual employees, not between the contractor and contractual workers.
De Jesus added that companies generate immense savings thru contractualization by evading obligations to workers. She said contractual workers are denied full benefits, receive lower wages, and are banned from joining unions.
For her part, GWP Rep. Arlene Brosas said pushing for the regularization of contractual workers “is a matter of advancing the fight against the neoliberal attacks on workers, especially women workers.”
“Contractualization is modern-day slavery under neoliberalism as workers have to endure long workhours, low pay, and poor working conditions in order to survive. The scheme makes women workers even more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation,” Rep. Brosas said.
Gabriela is calling all Filipino women to participate in the Nov. 25 “Women’s Unity to End Abuse of Women and Motherland” 7 a.m. activity at the Quezon Memorial Circle in commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW).