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The newly-formed workers party-list Partido ng Manggagawa Coalition (PM Coalition) today filed a petition at the Supreme Court seeking to overturn the Commission on Elections resolution disqualifying the group. In its petition, PM also sought a temporary restraining order on the scheduled raffle of party-list names and printing of the ballots in January.

Partido ng Manggagawa chairman and PM Coalition nominee Renato Magtubo said the group has complied with all the requirements for accreditation thus it finds no reason to be rejected by the poll body which has declared its intention to rid the party-list system of non-marginalized groups.

PM Coalition cited Rule 44 in its petition which allows review of decisions of constitutional commission bodies. The group is protesting why a truly marginalized group and whose nominees  possess laudable track records in serving the working class is denied accreditation by the Comelec while highly questionable groups got blind approval.

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The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) today called on new Philippine Airlines (PAL) President Ramon Ang to drop all charges against its members in order to facilitate a solution to the labor row. Last Wednesday a second PALEA member was arrested in Makati City while the first was detained for several days last October in Malvar, Batangas.

Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa, said that “We hold Mr. Ang to his commitment to Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo that he desires a just and mutually beneficial resolution of the dispute. Arresting PALEA members one by one in order to demoralize our determination to fight is contrary to the contents of Mr. Ang’s letter to Bishop Pabillo. We hope Mr. Ang realizes that for PAL to fly the flag proud it needs motivated regular workers not just brand new planes and a bigger airport.”

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Manila, Philippines: “Every time you open a bottle of Coca-Cola, please remind the company to respect workers’ rights,” this is the plea made by Coca-Cola union leaders this morning during a press conference. They are asking the patrons of the soft drink giant to support their struggle against employment policies that destroys regular jobs.

The union leaders explained how the Coca-Cola Philippines is systematically replacing regular jobs with contractual workers. Apart from promoting early retirement program, the company is aggressively outsourcing many of its regular jobs. More recently, Coca-Cola imposed a program called P3 or Performance, Participation and Presence that consigns thousands of workers and their families who depend on decent wages from regular, unionized jobs to a bleak future.

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THOUSANDS of trade unionists and activists poured into the streets of Manila and other key cities to celebrate May Day amid renewed hopes that the two latest efforts at labor unity will provide strong impetus to their uphill battle for labor and trade union rights.

At least 5,000 affiliates of the Sentro ng mga Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro), a newly organized labor center, joined a more massive march and rally in Manila of the recently launched Nagkaisa! labor coalition.

From five converging places along España Blvd., about 20,000 Nagkaisa! members linked up and marched towards Mendiola, near the Malacañang Palace, for an unprecedented unity calling for an end to rampant contractualization, enactment of the Security of Tenure bill in the Congress, across-the-board wage hike, among others.

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TRADE unions and other organizations picketed today the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila in the Malate area to air their support to the global campaign to boycott the Hyatt chain of hotels prompted by the rampant abuses against the workers in several Hyatt hotels in the US, even as they recall the almost similar plight suffered by the workers in the shuttered Hyatt Regency Manila.

Branded as America’s “worst employer in the national hotel industry,” Hyatt is accused of “replacing longtime employees with minimum wage temporary workers and imposing dangerous workloads on those who remain,” adding that “Hyatt housekeepers have high rates of injury.”

What incited the Hyatt workers, after years of silence, to finally confront their employer was when all the housekeepers at three non-unionized Hyatt hotels in Boston, Massachusetts – Hyatt Regency Boston, Hyatt Regency Cambridge, Hyatt Harborside – were arbitrarily fired (with no advance notice) and replaced by temporary workers on August 31, 2009.

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SENTRO vows to fight for wages, secure jobs and other long-standing issues

As the labor movement gears up for their actions towards May 1 in celebration of the International Labor Day, a new labor center was formed with membership of at least 80,000 workers covering major industries and sectors nationwide.

Sentro ng Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) was launched today in a press conference as they declared April 16 (Monday) as a National Day of Protest with simultaneous rallies to be held in Quezon City, Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), Welcome Rotonda and Mendiola in the National Capital Region. Regional actions will also be conducted in Cebu, Davao, General Santos City, Cotabato City, and Cagayan de Oro City.

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Following the nationally-coordinated police evictions last month of Occupy Wall Street and encampments across the country, on December 12 the Occupiers struck back. Ports up and down the West Coast were blockaded, from Seattle to San Diego. Despite a barrage of hostile propaganda in the media, opposition from union bureaucrats and heavy police repression in some places, overall the blockade was successful -- this time.

The blockade was called in solidarity with longshore workers fighting a union-busting assault in Longview, Washington and port truckers seeking union recognition in the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach. This support should have been greeted. But now the class war on the West Coast docks is coming to a head, and it can't be waged from the outside. Bay Area labor has called for a caravan to Longview. The goal should be a real occupation of the terminal by the workers to prevent the loading of the scab cargo. Longshore militants have called on the longshore unions to shut down every port on the West Coast, and the East and Gulf Coasts, to smash EGT's union-busting. Can it be done? Yes, but only though sharp struggle against the pro-capitalist labor bureaucracy.
 

December 2011
Following Dec. 12 West Coast Port Blockade
Longshore Workers, Truckers: Shut the Ports, Coast to Coast!

Occupy protesters blockade the port of Oakland, California, December 12. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Class War on the West Coast Docks
DECEMBER 28 – Following the nationally coordinated police evictions last month of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Oakland and encampments across the country, on December 12 the Occupiers struck back. Ports up and down the West Coast were blockaded, from Seattle to San Diego and the port of Houston on the Gulf of Mexico. In Oakland, California, where 30,000-40,000 marchers shut down the port on the evening of November 2, this time hundreds blocked port entrances in the early morning and several thousand demonstrators occupied the dock area in the evening, shutting down shipping for the entire day. Key terminals were blockaded in Seattle and Portland. Solidarity rallies were held from New York to Honolulu and Tokyo, Japan. Despite a barrage of hostile propaganda in the media, opposition from union bureaucrats and heavy police repression in some places, overall the blockade was successful – this time.

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The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) today asserted that Philippine Airlines (PAL) President Jaime Bautista’s announcement that they no longer acknowledge Gerry Rivera and Bong Palad as union officers exposes union busting as the real aim of outsourcing. “Truly a fish is caught by its mouth. Actually PAL is not just recognizing me and Palad as union officers but 62% of PALEA’s leadership and 70% of its membership who have been illegally lockout and terminated. Outsourcing thus is tantamount to union busting,” stated Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM - Labor Party).

Union busting is the real aim of outsourcing

By Labor Party - Philippines (PM)

Meanwhile Renato Magtubo, PM chair and co-chair of the Church-Labor Conference, an alliance of labor and church groups supporting PALEA, condemned threats from the Philippine National Police to disperse the campout at the PAL Inflight Center where thousands of employees continue their protest. “We warn government against using force to break the protest camp of PALEA. Labor and church groups will be one in strongly denouncing such a move,” he said.

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Over the past decade, the United States saw a growing shortage of teachers especially in inner-city and remote rural schools. This shortage was further compounded with the increased need for highly-qualified teachers as mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 mainly in core areas such as math, science and special education. In response to this shortage, school districts all over the country looked around the globe to recruit experienced and credentialed teachers to assist the country in educating its children. This was answered more than willingly by thousands of foreign teachers annually.

The arrival of international teachers was welcomed by different schools nationwide.  Indeed, our country is a nation of immigrants and it is built on the contributions of different peoples from all over the world.  The communities readily embrace these new workers as they are to be part of the continuing story of our nation’s greatness.  Meanwhile, these international teachers are delighted to having accomplished the first step towards a better future for their families – a shot at the American dream.

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The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) held a torch parade tonight as initial results in the strike poll reveal a tremendous vote for yes. Only the ballots of PALEA members in the Metro Manila offices of Philippines Airlines have been counted and show 96% votes of for a strike and a mere 3% voted against. In the last strike vote conducted last December, some 86% voted yes. In yesterday’s voting, 1996 PALEA members in Metro Manila participated out of some 2987 total members.

“The Metro Manila votes of PALEA members are a clear trend that we believe will be repeated in the outlying stations once the ballots have been counted. This is a herald of the determination of PAL workers to fight for their regular jobs and right to bargain. We hope that PAL management heeds this call instead of dismissing it as baseless,” stated Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.

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