Workers reject revision of endo bill

from August 1, 2019 01:00 am to August 1, 2019 01:00 am

MANILA, Philippines — Even before it can be drafted and submitted for approval, the country’s largest labor group has rejected any new version or “tweaking” of the Security of Tenure (SOT) bill.


The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines said it is against the drafting of a new version of the SOT bill. TUCP president Raymond Mendoza said they favored the previous version which underwent an industry-by-industry tripartite process to identify which jobs are regular and which can be outsourced through legal contracting.

Speaking to “The Chiefs” last night on Cignal TV’s One News, Mendoza said there was no need to “tweak” the endo bill, as suggested by President Duterte’s economic managers. Mendoza said Duterte was deliberately misled and badly advised to veto the SOT and call for the drafting of a new version.

“TUCP sees nothing wrong or amiss in the definition of labor-only contracting in the vetoed law. If anything, the definition closes the loopholes that have been exploited by the employers and labor contractors to exploit our workers in what is a modern form of slave labor,” Mendoza explained.

Sonny Matula of the Federation of Free Workers also told The Chiefs that the endo bill that was vetoed was already a “watered down” version of what organized labor wanted. Matula, however, expressed openness to negotiations for a compromise measure.

Mendoza, on the other hand, said the drafting of a new version of the SOT bill would entail more talking, negotiations and time, which are needless actions especially when an agreement has been reached that those jobs which can be contracted out have been determined by the tripartite body.

“Management prerogatives must conform to the Constitution, good morals, fair play, decency, logic and the parameters of this new law,” Mendoza pointed out.

He said current Philippine labor relations is already so weighed down against workers, and this was what the vetoed SOT law was supposed to address.

“The vetoed version was already the watered down version. What new version are the President’s men talking about? Are they talking about the version that will give employers an even freer hand to expand the scope of contractualization even more? For employers to determine at will who will be contractual?” Mendoza asked.

He said the veto was done without consulting workers and now, they are asked to rush back to a negotiating table tilted against them.