KMU: Duterte showed no respect for workers
Rosette Adel (philstar.com) - February 10, 2016 - 11:43pm

MANILA, Philippines – The labor union group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) on Thursday decried presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s speech mentioning his opposition to labor fronts and threat to kill them.

In a statement posted on Facebook, KMU said Duterte declared war on unions, KMU and all workers during the first day of his campaign.

“Is Mayor Duterte joking? He declared war on unions, KMU, and all workers on the first day of his campaign. He called on workers to lessen actions in defense of their rights right in the birthplace of working-class hero Andres Bonifacio. He claimed he shares KMU’s ideology yet threatened to kill KMU members in the same breath,” KMU said.

“He showed no respect for workers, who belong to the majority of Filipinos, in the name of an abstract “Philippines,” which can only mean big foreign and local capitalists,” the group added.

The KMU was reacting to a video of Duterte’s speech during his campaign kickoff in Tondo, Manila where he expressed opposition to active labor fronts, asking KMU to stop labor unions that can possibly ruin a Duterte administration.

READ: WATCH: Duterte voices opposition to labor fronts

The labor union asked if the mayor was only joking about his statement but stressed that whatever the reason, it is still unacceptable adding that the presidential aspirant is making a big joke of himself.

“Candidates have always promised to implement anti-worker and pro-business measures in order to attract the support of big foreign and local capitalists. None, however, has done it with more bombast than Duterte. Is he that desperate in trying to court the support of big capitalists? Whatever his reason, talking about killing trade-unionists is simply unacceptable. He should be respectful of the labor movement, which has fought for improvements in workers’ conditions,” KMU said.

“He cannot make progressive statements on other issues and then make this horrid mistake on the issue of workers – directly addressing the KMU and threatening the lives of unionists – and still expect people to believe him. He is making a big joke of himself with this statement,” it said.

The group lamented that they even hailed Duterte’s statement against contractualization right after he declared his candidacy and they have recognized his support for workers’ and KMU Southern Mindanao Region’s campaigns for higher wages as well as his pro-worker agenda.

The group askedd if Duterte’s move is a desperate tactic to draw the support of big capitalists.

KMU is requesting Duterte to retract his statement citing that not even the US-Marcos dictatorship and US-Arroyo regime stopped them from “organizing workers and fighting for worker’s rights.”

“We ask this to give him room to change his mind, reverse his statement, and stand against greedy capitalists, not workers’ unions,” KMU said.

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