International Workers Day 2022
Among the many sectors beleaguered by the worsening global economic and political crisis during the pandemic, the labour sector has proven the world would grind to a halt without their toiling arms.
Despite their contributions, workers around the world are still reeling from poverty, inequalities and exclusion. A rise in social unrest and discontent was evident in the increase in the incidence of protests in 2019 around the world, suggesting that full employment and raising the standard of living remain unfulfilled, according to a labour trends report published in 2020 by the International Labour Organization.
Furthermore, the report stated the fact that a paid job does not guarantee decent working conditions or adequate income for the many of the 3.3 billion employed worldwide in 2019. “All too often, the lack of income or other means of financial support compels workers to engage in jobs that are informal, offer low pay and provide little or no access to social protection and rights of work” (ILO, 2020).
This is especially true in the case of the Philippines, which for much of the half of the century, has been relying on its exported workers to fill the gaps in the global workforce, and in turn buoy its economy through their dollar remittances. That is, continue to fuel the drivers of poverty and economic injustices in order to continue producing mass numbers of OFWs.
And what became of the promises in the last six years of the Pres. Duterte government? The last remaining months of the fascist government a remnant of unabated spate of killings care of war on drugs, botched Covid-19 response that led to over 60,000 deaths mostly in Metro Manila, his rabid red tagging of rights advocates in the government’s another failed pursuit to crush the armed insurgency, and his distasteful misogyny against women. His bid to end contractualization among the Philippines’ poorest was a mere lip service.
Hence the demand for decent jobs and living wage has intensified in light of the upcoming May national elections. Think-tank IBON’s research shows the Duterte government implemented the least and lowest wage hikes in the last 36 hours.
Under neoliberalism, migrant workers will be temporary, both migrant and local workers stand at the losing end. While they have a job and earn a little money to send back home, migrant workers generally experience poor working conditions as well as the abandonment of their governments. For their part, local Canadian workers suffer from growing unemployment and deteriorating working conditions that they are forced to accept, faced with competition from very cheap and exploited migrant labour.
Let us continue the working class' historic mission to struggle against neoliberal globalization and call on working peoples of the world to unite and defend jobs, fight for justice and our rights against neoliberalism, the rising fascism and increasing threats of wars.
Long live international solidarity