Labor reps to Concom recommends retention pro-worker provisions of 1987 Charter; cites need for workers economic empowerment through workers enterprises

The three labor representatives to the Consultative Commission (CONCOM) created by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to propose amendments to the Philippine Constitution is pushing for the retention of pro-worker provisions in the 1987 Constitution.

In a joint statement, Commissioners Democrito T. Mendoza, Cecilio T. Seno, and Sonny Matula, underscored the need to preserve provisions that will protect the interests of workers and their families.

Despite the infirmities attributed to the 1987 Constitution, Mendoza who is President of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) describes it as one of few constitutions in world with explicit provisions protective of workers.

Sonny Matula, of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) added that the 1987 Constitution is activist in character. It contains p! rovisions that balance the socio-economic disparities in favor of the poor and disadvantaged.

Seno, also of TUCP, for his part said that the proposals to amend the Constitution needs to incorporate basic human rights principles such as those that guarantee workers’ right to form and join organizations and their collective right to bargain effectively.

Seno cited that Section 3 of Article XII of the 1987 Constitution which provides for the protection of workers right to go on strike when their rights are violated.

Section 3 says …..“ It shall guarantee the rights of all workers to self-organization, collective bargaining negotiations and peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike in accordance with law. They shall be entitled to security of tenure, humane conditions of work, and living wage. They shall also participate in policy and decision-making processes affecting their rights and benefits as may be provided by law…..

The three also bat for the incorporation of provisions that shall guarantee the right of workers to have their rightful share of the countries economic activities.

Mendoza underscored the need for the prom! otion of workers enterprises and people’s capitalism to ensure that workers are given a bigger share in the fruits of economic activities.

Mendoza believes that by granting people’s enterprises equal opportunities to own and operate businesses and other economic opportunities, there will be an opportunity to widen the base for fairer distribution of the wealth and incomes.

Empowering people’s enterprises through cooperatives, workers enterprises, or even through workers part-ownership of private corporations will equalize the lopsided concentration of wealth in the country and contribute greatly in re-distributing wealth in the country, Mendoza said.

Matula, proposes to include as part of State Policies a provision that shall encourage, assist, and ensure the growth of People’s Capitalism or People’s Enterprises, not only as a measure for re-distribution of wealth and incomes but also as a matter of right of Filipinos to decent and well-meaning lives.

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