Labor groups set 8-point demand for Mendiola protest
Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - May 1, 2013 - 10:30am

MANILA, Philippines - Labor groups mostly in red shirts gathered along España Boulevard in Manila to demand increased workers' benefits from the government.

The protesters, including Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, assembled around Welcome Rotonda while others carried banners and posters along Blumentritt Street and at the corner of Don Castilas where Ramon Magsaysay High School is located.

The militant groups are expected to march towards Mendiola near Malacañang Palace and join other groups for the annual Labor Day protest.

The groups echoed eight labor issues discussed in a dialogue between President Benigno Aquino III, government officials, businessmen and labor leaders from 19  organizations on Tuesday.

The passage of the Security of Tenure bill protecting independent contractors and the Freedom of Information Bill, resolution of extra-judicial killings of militant leaders, tax issues, agro-industrial plans as well as high power costs are among the matters raised by Labor Day movements.

Aquino had announced on Tuesday that will not certify the Security of Tenure bill as "urgent" as its provisions may be in contrast with his administration's goal to increase employment in the country.

Other issues pressed by the protesters are the welfare of migrant workers and rights of the urban poor whose informal houses are about to be seized.

Other members of the KMU, who are also set to walk to Mendiola in the afternoon, gathered along Buendia in Makati, Tondo area and Plaza Lawton or Liwasang Bonifacio.

Public transport group Pinag-isang Samahan ng Tsuper at Operators Nationwide or PISTON are meeting in Cubao and will march toward Lawton before they head to Mendiola to join the protest.

Manila Archbishop Luis Cardinal Tagle, meanwhile, will celebrate Mass dedicated for workers and commemorating Saint Joseph the Worker at Plaza Miranda in the morning.

Manila Police District chief Robert Po assured that that there is sufficient security in different areas in Manila for Labor Day.

Po added that the National Capital Regional Police Office has also sent an augmentation force to Mendiola.

BLUMENTRITT STREET DON CASTILAS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL KILUSANG MAYO UNO LABOR DAY LIWASANG BONIFACIO MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO MANILA ARCHBISHOP LUIS CARDINAL TAGLE MENDIOLA SECURITY OF TENURE
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