May One 2022: Job security, wage increase and union rights

This article is available in PilipinoBisayaHiligaynon

Raising their clamor for a living wage, job security, benefits and rights in workplaces, millions of workers marched across the world in commemoration of Labor Day last May 1.

Filipino workers underscored the urgency of enacting a law setting a ₱750 daily minimum wage especially in the face of rising prices of goods and services. They also called for sufficient jobs and an end to contractualization.

Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City was the point of convergence for around 16,000 workers who attended the activity led by the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan. The rallyists kicked off the commemoration with a program outside the coliseum where senatorial candidates Elmer Labog and Neri Colmenares addressed the crowd.

The KMU said that the Filipino people face great challenges this year: the worsening exploitation and oppression amid threats of a Marcos return and the Duterte family’s cling to power. A few days earlier, the group formally endorsed the candidacy of Vice President Leni Robredo as president and Sen. Kiko Pangilinan as vice president. The tandem was the activity’s main guest. To recall, Araneta Coliseum was where KMU was founded in May 1, 1980 under the US-Marcos dictatorship.

Meanwhile, workers also marched in the streets of Baguio City, Legazpi City, and Naga City. In Calamba, Laguna, various groups converged to demand an end tothe harassment of workers in the region.

Protests and programs were also held by supporters of the Leni-Kiko tandem in Pasig City. National democratic forces led protests in Pampanga, Rizal, Cavite and Aklan, as well as in the cities of Roxas, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu and Davao. Filipinos in Australia also held mass actions.

Oveseas, no less than 700,000 marched in Havana, Cuba to honor the Cuban workers and strengthen the defense of the national sovereigny against US aggression and intervention.

In South Korea, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions led the May One commemoration. Their demand: Labor rights without discrimination, decent jobs for all and an end to inequality.

The Centre of India Trade Unions, meanwhile, condemned the Modi regime’s whipping up of discrimination in the ranks of workers. They also called for the protection and unity of workers.

In Thailand, Thai and Burmese workers marched together in Siam district and called for wage increases.

Hundreds gathered in New York, USA to criticize the government’s anti-immigrant policies. Newly-formed unions of Starbucks and Walmart joined the protest. There were also mass actions in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Washington D.C. and in other parts of the US.

Tens of thousands of workers in France also marched to challenge Pres. Emmanual Macron. It has only been a week since Macron was elected president for the second time.

Meanwhile, protests by workers in Turkey highlighted their continuing calls for wage increases. Unions started negotiations last year for wages to be increased this year.

In Sri Lanka, the Occupy Galle Face movement which started in April 9 continues with its aim of ousting the president Gotabaya Rajapakasa.

There were also mass actions in Ecuador, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, different parts of the United Kingdom, Cambodia, Iran, Russia, Dominican Republic, Panama, Pakistan, Chile, Spain and other countries.

In Bolivia, the government and the unions jointly announced the increase in the national minimum wage for all workers in the country.

May One 2022: Job security, wage increase and union rights