Groups to protest labor contractualization

Posted at 04/30/12 9:53 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Militant groups are ready to mount Labor Day demonstrations to protest against government's alleged inaction over labor issues.

On the eve of protests, members of Kilusang Mayo Uno are preparing an image of President Benigno Aquino that they will use in their demonstrations.

They will protest against labor contractualization, ongoing demolitions, the presence of American troops in the country, and push their call for a P125 wage increase.

"We are ready for this," said KMU deputy secretary- general Leandro Gerodias.

Members of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), meanwhile, will hold their demonstration in front of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the US embassy.

They expect more protesters to join them, compared to previous years.

"Tumitindi na kasi yung galit ng mga tao sa kahirapan, sa walang umento sa sahod," said Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim has arranged a meeting with 40 labor groups and officials of the Manila Police District (MPD).

Lim wants to ensure that Labor Day rallies will be peaceful.

"Iniiwasan natin na magkaroon na parang demolition na magsasagupaan ang mga pulis at mga magpoprotesta, peaceful dapat," he said.

Security personnel are on full alert and barricades have been set up around Mendiola.

"Tingin namin wala namang manggugulo kasi nagkausap na kami, pero siyempre handa kami," said police Director Alejandro Gutierrez, MPD chief.

Traffic rerouting

Malacañang, meanwhile, dismissed criticisms that the Aquino administration has done nothing to improve the condition of workers.

"That's always their contention anyway. These are professional critics who have nothing good to say about the Aquino administration," said Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.

Manila officials have yet to map out traffic rerouting schemes. They said these will depend on the number of people who will join rallies Tuesday.

In case the corner of Recto and Mendiola will be closed, those traveling to Recto from Legarda-RM Boulevard should turn right to Earnshaw and then turn left to Lacson.

Motorists coming from Divisoria should turn left on Nicanor Reyes going to España, while those coming from Ayala Bridge going to Recto should turn left on Carlos Palanca.

Labor group leaders, meanwhile, urged those joining Tuesday's rallies to bring water, fans, umbrellas and towels to help keep them cool during their heated protests. - report from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News; ANC