Workers’ strikes should not be blamed for turning off foreign investors

Published September 12, 2018, 5:40 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Leslie Aquino

The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) said jobs-creating investors are not investing into the country because of decades-old problem on government red tape, government graft and corruption, expensive electricity, poor and ageing infrastructures, worsening peace and order situation particularly in the countryside, traffic congestion, and poor public mass transport system — not because of workers’ strikes.

Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (MANILA BULLETIN)
Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines

The Partido Manggagawa (PM) said blaming strikes for lack of interest among foreign investors was a “lame excuse”.

“Investors invest in a country primarily because of its profitability and political stability,”PM Chairman Renato Magtubo said in a statement.

“Moreover, a strike though a guaranteed workers’ right under the constitution is highly regulated by the government, thus will not be a major factor that would affect the country’s stability and employers’ profitability,” he added.

Alan Tanjusay, spokesperson of ALU-TUCP, said labor advocates were not responsible why investors do not invests in job-creating investment in the country.

“We are not in any way standing in their way to do business in the country. It is not our intention to discourage them from doing business,” he said.

“In fact and in truth, we are advocating employers and business to do responsible business in the country and we desire them to grow and thrive along with their workers and their employees for a better nation,” added Tanjusay.

Federation of Free Workers (FFW) Vice President Julius Cainglet said trade unions do not want to resort to strikes as workers stood more to lose because they would not be getting salaries for an extended period in exchange for recognition of their rights.

“Even when we decide to go on strike, the system gives a lot of opportunities for government to come in to mediate and thus, prevent a full blown strike,” he said.

“The worse part is the President’s deafening silence on the abuse of workers perpetrated by greedy corporations that force workers to go on strike. And the President cannot wash his hands on this. His failure to end Contractualization and raise wages closer to living wage rates are the major push factors for strikes,” added Cainglet.

On Tuesday, Duterte said the strikes and pickets being conducted by labor groups were to be blamed for investors shying away from putting up businesses in the Philippines.