TUCP to endorse Marcos-Duterte tandem in May polls

TUCP to endorse Marcos-Duterte tandem in May polls
This February 2018 file photo shows members of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines rally in Cebu against labor contractualization.
Paul Jun Rosaroso, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines will formally endorse this week the candidacies of presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, it said in a news release Sunday. 

TUCP, which has a claimed membership of 480,000 rank-and-file workers, said union members chose the Marcos-Duterte tandem in a series of caucuses that started last year. The Philippine Trade Group Workers Organization, a group under TUCP, also endorsed Marcos in his 2016 vice-presidential run.

"The vote advantage of Mr. Marcos and Ms. Duterte-Carpio and with those four other pair of presidential and vice-presidential aspirants was very wide. It was an overwhelmingly majority decision in all caucuses held differently in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao," TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said in the release.

The formal announcement will include the group's picks among the canddiates for senator as well.

Rep. Raymond Mendoza represents TUCP party-list at the House of Representatives.

Labor groups have managed to form the broad Nagkaisa labor coalition and, in 2019, endorsed a five-member slate of labor leaders and labor activists under the Labor Win Alliance. Labor groups are divided going into the May polls, however.

Partido Lakas ng Masa has fielded Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino chair Ka Leody De Guzman as an alternative pro-worker candidate while Federation of Free Workers president Sonny Matula is a candidate in the ticket of Vice President Leni Robredo.

Opposition coalition 1Sambayan has also endorsed former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares as part of a slate backing Robredo. The Makabayan bloc, which includes Bayan Muna, has also declared support for Robredo and for the senatorial campaigns of Colmenares and of Kilusang Mayo Uno chair Elmer "Ka Bong" Labog.

Workers' groups came together on Labor Day in 2018 to protest a failed campaign promise by President Rodrigo Duterte to end "endo" or "end of contract", a term now used to mean contractual labor for periods too short for workers to get security of tenure and other benefits. The Palace said then that the matter was best left to Congress.

In 2019, Duterte vetoed a bill restricting labor-only contracting. "I believe the sweeping expansion of the definition of labor-only contracting destroys the delicate balance and will place capital and management at an impossibly difficult predicament with adverse consequences to the Filipino workers in the long-term," the president said then.

Endo as well as calls to raise the minimum wage will likely be campaign issues as the Philippines goes into elections after the COVID-19 pandemic battered the economy and caused work suspensions and job losses.





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