Justice. The word sums up the call of Women Workers In Struggle for Employment, Empowerment, and Emancipation (Women WISE³) as it celebrates its second founding anniversary.
Last August 13, 2008, Women WISE³ was established to unite widows and families of slain labour activists, women trade union organizers whose lives are under threat, women workers displaced in the exercise of their right to unionize, and women workers who are victims of abuse in their own workplace.
Today, it continues to call for justice for the hundreds – and still increasing cases of violations of workers’ rights. Especially under the Arroyo regime, Women WISE³ witnessed the killing, abduction, arrest and harassment of trade union organizers and members.
The present administration thus faces the huge challenge of resolving this crisis in the labor sector. It is its duty to hold accountable all those responsible for the cases, and listen to the righteous demands of militant unions.
Women WISE³ believes that an important component of a progressive nation is a happy content workforce, who receives the right pay and benefits, has job security, and can freely participate in the movement to protect their rights in a unified manner.
Today, however, various practices and policies in the labor sector serve as big obstacles to this vision. Contractualization, the dismissal and harassment of employees who join the unions, and the continued refusals of many employers to grant the demand for long-overdue wage increase.
In addition, the government fails when it comes to creating domestic jobs for its workforce. Instead, it is currently focused on efforts to encourage foreign investors for business process outsourcing, or sending Filipinos abroad, where they also become victims of labor rights violations.
Hence, aside from the call for across the board wage increase and condemning the practice of contractualization, Women WISE³ also calls for the creation of jobs, which can be achieved through national industrialization. Industrialization, along with land reform in the countryside, will bring genuine progress to the Filipino nation.
Fight for the right to livelihood!
Stop human rights abuses in the workplace!
Stop the killings!
Fight for justice!