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Workers call for DOLE chief’s resignation in ILO meet

DISGRUNTLED workers groups have brought their gripes against Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma before the International Labor Organization (ILO).

This was after delegates from the Philippines called for the resignation of Laguesma in the ongoing 2024 International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

“Frustrations are what led to the almost unanimous call by the Philippine labor movement, including all the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) affiliates in the Philippines, for DOLE Secretary Laguesma’s resignation,” Joanna Bernice Coronation, who heads the Philippine delegation for workers in the ILC 2024, said in her speech before the plenary.

She said their call is anchored mainly on the continuing labor rights violations in the Philippines, along with the 72 trade union killings that have remained unresolved.

This, she said, despite the attention given by the ILO by sending the High-Level Tripartite Mission (HLTM) back in January 2023.

“More than a year since the conclusive findings of the ILO HLTM, we have yet to see any substantive steps towards addressing the systemic roots of precariousness and labor rights violations in the Philippines,” said Coronation.

“Despite claims to the contrary, hostility to trade unions remains the order of the day in the Philippines,” she added.

Coronation spoke in the ILC 2024 as head of the Philippine delegation for workers, which is composed of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO), Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).

Last month, the labor sector also called for Laguesma’s resignation after he continuously refused to endorse the P150 legislated wage hike pushed by the workers in Congress.

The workers labeled Laguesma as the “employers’ poster boy” against a legislated wage hike.