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Cartoon an antiworker propaganda material

/ 12:32 AM October 13, 2011

As advocates of genuine and militant unionism, we in the Kilusang Mayo Uno condemn the Sept. 30 editorial cartoon of the Inquirer by Gilbert Daroy for misrepresenting militant labor and trying to create a public opinion that is unfavorable, if not hostile, to it.

The cartoon depicts President Aquino digging the soil in which he intends to plant what looks like a young tree labeled “Japanese investments.” Surrounding him are weeds that are labeled corruption, red tape, high power rates and “militant labor.”

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Militant labor is not an enemy of investments per se, but of capitalists who exploit labor and abuse the basic rights of workers. Capitalists who press down workers’ wages, promote contractualization and trample on union rights have every reason to see us as an enemy.

Which is not to say that we support government’s policy of attracting foreign investors to create jobs in the country. Such a policy has turned too often into an offering of cheap and repressed labor. But government policy and actual investors are two different things.

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Militant unionism, furthermore, does not deserve to be lumped together with systemic government problems such as corruption, red tape and high power rates—all of which are offshoots of government policies that serve big business to the detriment of the public. Corruption, red tape and high power rates are  menaces not only to investors but also to the Filipino workers and people. These should to be eradicated.

Militant unionism, however, fights for the rights of workers and poor people and should in fact be allowed to flourish. Militant unionism is the workers’ response to the extreme exploitation and cruel repression that they face in workplaces across the country. To attack militant unionism is to side with capitalists and the government and to attack workers’ rights.

At a time when capitalists, with the support of the Aquino administration, are launching an all-out offensive against workers’ wages, job security and union rights, it is simply revolting to see the Inquirer coming out with a blatant antiworker propaganda material.

—LITO USTAREZ,

vice chair, Kilusang Mayo Uno,

[email protected]

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TAGS: cartoon, investments, kilusang mayo uno, letters, militant labor, propaganda
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