“A welcome development.”
This is how members of terminated outsourced employees of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) under the banner of the PLDT Organization of Workers and Employees for Rights (POWER) see the sponsorship of Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resource Development chairman, Senator Joel Villanueva of the Senate Bill No. 1826 or the proposed Security of Tenure Act.
The statement is made as POWER president Dan Joshua Nazario joined the public hearing aganst contractualization in the Senate today along with workers of Nutri Asia, management officials, concerned government agencies, and various labor groups including Defend Job Philippines and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).
Senate Bill 1826 or the Security of Tenure Bill seeks to prohibit labor-only contracting, limit job contracting to licensed & specialized fields, provide penalty for violation, and simplify the classification of workers into regular and probationary – and treat project and seasonal employees as regular.
“We warmly welcome and extend our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to Senator Villanueva in his move to legislate a law that will provide security of tenure and will end endo across the country,” said Nazario during the Senate public hearing.
He added, “We are in high hopes that a law shall pass ensuring the workers’ right security of tenure. We welcome this as a positive first step towards eventually ending all forms of contractualization which hampers workers’ access to adequate rights, wages and benefits.”
Nazario also urged the Senate to look into the case of PLDT which has yet to implement the DOLE’s final and executory order to immediately regularize its 7,309 contractual employees.
During the hearing, members of POWER also joined other labor groups under the KMU-Nagkaisa labor coalition in a picket protest against contractualization outside the Senate gate in Pasay City.
Nazario belied claims of the Court of Appeals on its previous decision reversing DOLE compliance regularization order, which limits line of works that should be regularized by the telco giant.
The group insisted the justness for them to be called regular employees of PLDT as their work is considered necessary, vital, and desirable to the production cycle inside the telecom company.
Nazario and fellow PLDT workers said that their struggle for regularization will not end in the Senate. “We vow to hold a series of mass actions in the days to come to assert our rights to be called regular employees of PLDT wherever this battle may lead us,” he said.