LEARN observes 108th May Day celebration

The Labor Education and Research Network, together with its affiliates and partner organizations held mobilizations nationwide for the May Day Celebrations. The issues that the groups will bring include the reversal of the Supreme Court decision, penned by Justice Presbitero Velasco in November 2008, which redefined the concept of “strike” thereby dismissing many members and officers of a union in Dusit Hotel Nikko (now Thani) Chapter in Makati Philippines. Just by merely shaving their heads bald, the workers were declared to be in strike and said to have violated certain hotel management’s grooming standards. The ILO already sent a report last year in response to the filed complaint on the said ruling made by the IUF, Global Unions and a hotel and restaurant workers’ federation. According to the ILO report, “In the present case, while having shaved their heads, the employees had not stopped working. The Committee takes into account the concerns expressed by the hotel management with regard to its image and notes that the action by some of the union members have been found by the Supreme Court as having infringed the grooming standards of the hotel. The Committee considers that equating the mere expression of discontent, peacefully and lawfully exercised, with a strike per se results in a violation of the freedom of association and expression.”

For more information on this cause and issue, you can visit:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hoy-Kalbo-Tanggal-ka-sa-Trabaho/147982591890520

Aside from this, one of LEARN’s affiliate organizations, the Alliance of Progressive Labor, also conducted mass protests in reaction to the reluctance of the Philippine Government to initiate policy changes, especially on oil deregulation issues and implementation of decent or living wage, despite the current wave of oil and other commodity’s price increases in the country. The group pressed for the passage of House Bill 303 or the Security of Tenure Bill, which seeks to regulate contractual and precarious employment. For more information, you can visit this link:

http://www.apl.org.ph/?p=1100

The issue of Domestic Workers was also brought to the streets. LEARN and Global Network-Asia have been advocating for the passage of the ILO Domestic Workers’ Convention in the next International Labour Conference this June 2011.

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