13 February 2009
SOUTHERN TAGALOG WOMEN WORKERS STORM SSS OFFICE IN CALAMBA
STEALING WORKERS FUNDS AMID RETRENCHMENTS A DEATH BLOW TO WORKERS – GABRIELA
Members of Gabriela Women’s Party Southern Tagalog and the Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (PAMANTIK-KMU) held protest today at the Social Security Office in Bgy. Parian, Calamba City, Laguna. They demanded the immediate retraction of SSS’ P12.5B commitment to President Arroyo’s “economic stimulus pacage” and called for the resignation of SSS head Romulo Neri.
“Ang pera ng SSS ay pera ng manggagawa. Walang karapatan si Gng. Arroyo at mga kasapakat nito tulad ni Romulo Neri na paki-alaman, waladasin at kurakutin ang pondo ng manggagawa. SSS funds are for the workers and not for this corrupt government to meddle with. Hands off SSS funds now!” said Leona Entena, Gabriela Women’s Party Vice Chairperson for Luzon.
“Meddling with the workers’ funds in the SSS is a most inappropriate action for this government to take in the midst of a worsening global financial crisis. Manggagawa na nga ang tinatanggal sa trabaho, tinatanggalan ng benepisyo tapos ngayon, manggagawa pa rin ang pupuntiryahin ng gubyernong Arroyo para lalo pa papasanin ng krisis! Pinapatay nila ang mga manggagawa,” said Entena who liened the scheme to a death blow to workers.
Entena said that in the Southern Tagalog provinces of Cavite and Laguna alone some 34,000 workers have been laid off and retrenched in semi-conductors and electronics factories while over 40,000 workers are made to suffer various schemes of labor flexibilization such as reduced work days, forced leaves and voluntary resignation which are al tantamount to joblessness and the loss of livelihood for many workers.
Entena further said that 75-80% of these retrenched workers in Cavite and Laguna are women as most electronics, semi conductors ad garments factories employ mostly women.
“Excess or reserve funds of the SSS are best allocated for workers who are in dire need of assistance and benefits to tide them over the global financial crisis”
GABRIELA Women’s Party Southern Tagalog and PAMANTIK-KMU gathered signatures in a petition to protect workers’ funds and vow to gather more in protest.
Leona Entena (GWP Vice Chairperson for Luzon) 09106660574