EDITORIAL â Workers are the backbone of the country's economy

EDITORIAL – Workers are the backbone of the country's economy

(The Freeman) - May 1, 2017 - 12:00am

Today, we mark another important celebration in honor of the labor sector. As has been the tradition, thousands of workers across the country will troop to the streets not only to celebrate the importance of their part in nation building but to air their grievances as well.

Labor Day is not supposed to be the time for street protests. It used to be celebrated to recognize the sector as a vital partner as the country marches towards development. Without the very important job of the labor sector, no business can survive.

Nowadays, however, the annual Labor Day celebration has become a significant venue for workers to complain against what they claim are the many injustices committed against them by the business sector and the government.

Of course, we cannot blame them given the fact that the labor force is one of the most neglected sectors in society, majority of whose members are still languishing in poverty. With meager income, many of these workers today can no longer afford some of their basic needs.

Today's celebration will be the first under President Rodrigo Duterte, who reportedly has a big announcement for the workers. Whatever his announcement, we hope it would be for the benefit of all workers across the sector.

President Duterte has already ordered a ban on contractualization in the labor sector. But we have yet to see its full implementation because many businesses still subject their workers to contracts, denying them of some benefits.

This is why there should be a strict implementation of the order. And there should be no letup in the monitoring of establishments. Yes, it helps if the workers themselves are the ones reporting the violations of their employers to the authorities.

Workers are the backbone of the country's economy. Their sweat and blood are what sow the seeds in farmlands, and turn the machines in plants and factories. It's time for the government and the business sector to give them all the benefits they so richly deserve.



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