Labor is the leading creator of wealth in any society. Transport, agriculture and nearly all industries and economic activities will grind to a halt without the creative hands of labor. Workers are the most productive and yet they are the least rewarded in our society. The Constitution acknowledges them to be the “primary economic force” and yet they remain underpaid, under protected, underfed and underemployed. Increasing wages is the single most effective way of improving the lives of workers and their families and the fairest means to equitably distributing the country’s fruit of production. We believe that any substantial increase in the purchasing power of the workers, redound to greater economic participation as, normally, workers’ incomes, when increased are but spent on domestic purchases, pump priming the economy.
The concept that labor and management are “partners in progress” will still have a long way to go. It will remain as an empty rhetoric until management is ready to accept the substance of this principle, for the sake of industrial peace. As of now, it does not essentially lessen the sense of division between “we” and “they”. There is a contrast between the democratic assumptions of society in general and the dictatorial structure of our industry.
I do not wish to condone lying by our politicians nor the wisdom of telling white lies to deceive the people in order to accomplish purposes which they deem desirable. But if deception is freely practiced in private life and business, what shall we say about public and political life, in which an even lower standard is observed? With rare exceptions, the run-of-the-mill politician is either credible or respectable, most of them are always raising an imaginary windmill in order to drumbeat their advocacy of deception and cunning, usually with their melodramatic and empty talks, in the asphalt jungle of the political arena.
Mass movements generate in their followers the willingness to die for a cause and an inclination for a united action. They preach enthusiasm and fervent hope for the future, particularly for the working class. They are capable of releasing a powerful flow of activities that demand faith and allegiance for the emancipation of the poor toiling masses and to assert their rights through unity and self-sacrifice. They are on the march everywhere, in shaping the world of the working man as they try to locate the economic forces relevant to their existence and most of them favor radical change.
Democracy is a government of the people. In principle yes, but in practice, it is a government "off" the people because the interests of the people are taken for granted. Does the government care about the people when it could not do something to avert the unabated increases in the prices of petroleum products, that is bleeding our people dry? The main concern of the government is the collection of millions of pesos in taxes from the greedy oil companies. Recently, the government cut down the allowances of the poor rural health workers resulting to "diminution of benefits." The government does not always work for the interests of the governed, like a herdsman who exercises expertise and authority over his cattle, not in their own interests, but in his own. That is why it is a government "off" the people.
A “Domestic Worker” or “Kasambahay” refers to any person who renders domestic services exclusively to an employer as general househelp, nursemaid, or “yaya”, cook, gardener, laundry person and/or family driver. It is a fact that domestic helpers are often the most vulnerable, the most exploited and the hardest to protect. Sometimes children are preferred to adult for this type of work because they are easier to dominate and are very cheap. In most cases, they are little girls. A host of little ghost worker who undeclared, are not included in any of the statistics on child labor. They are badly paid or not paid at all. Oftentimes a child given up by her rural family to a wealthier urban family to do their domestic work.
The term "bulldog supervision" is a catchword or expression that has become representative as a point of view among labor advocates, particularly referring to the untoward behavior of some supervisors, managers, foremen and overseers who acts like barking dogs whenever they reprimand or give orders to the workers. From the factories to the farms, from the sugarcane fields to the construction sites, from the offices to the academe, there are middle managers who are acting like `adminis-traitors." They are often called slave drivers by the aggrieved workers. Like a ruffian who is habitually cruel to others weaker than himself, they are among the avid apostles of this bulldog supervision.
When majority of the Senator-Judges in a vote of 10-13, opted to abide and comply with the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court, it was not an indication of a total obeisance to the “supremacy” of the highest court in the land. It was borne out of respect to the 1987 Constitution, in recognizing the power of the Supreme Court to interpret, enforce and uphold the fundamental law of the land. It is because the courts, ultimately the Supreme Court are the official, (but not necessarily the only,) interpreters of the Constitution. It was also a wise move to avert the so-called “Constitutional Crisis.” Moreover, according to Chancellor James Kent; “Where there is no judicial department to interpret and execute the law, to decide controversies and to enforce rights, the government either perish by its own imbecility, or the other departments of the government must usurp powers for the purpose of commanding obedience, to the destruction of liberty.”
The impeachment trial is now a “telenovela,” in the regular programs of the television. It is a tale about betrayal of public trust, graft and corruption. The chief justice is the foremost among all other actors. Supported by a cast of lawyers and our legislators. But the “show” has become dragging in time and duration. Most people are getting bored, in waiting for its conclusion.
While it is true that the reassignment or transfer of personnel is within the prerogative of management, it is not absolute. There are legal grounds and rules that must be faithfully observed in order to protect the rights of the workers, otherwise, arbitrary policies implemented by the management could not be held in check or at least regulated by labor laws. Such was the case of the three teachers in the high school department of West Negros University (WNU) who were transferred to the college department by virtue of Memo # 69, S,09-10 issued by Mrs. Cleo Grace T. Hinaut, to Mrs. Antonette Ang, Principal of the Integrated School, the memo was issued on April 28, 2010 by Mrs. Hinaut as the VP for Academic Affairs. The three teachers Mrs. Charito Kaw Chong Huat, Miss Lucy Alayon and Miss Gladys Campillanos are members of the WNU Faculty and Employees Labor Union-PACIWU as alleged by the administration, to have not possessed the qualifications to teach in the high school department, despite the fact that they had been teaching there for a long period of time and it is only now that their qualifications are questioned, because they are not graduates of a Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE) among others.