The imperative to unite and fight for the dignity of workers is the spark for the formation of Nagkaisa which embraces the major labor centers and groups in the Philippines for the first time since the 1980’s. The unity forged among some 40 labor organizations to advance the struggle for immediate and strategic demands is a key component of the renewal and revival of the labor movement. A strong militant labor movement is the foundation for the working class to regain its place as the tribune of the people and vanguard of social change.
In the Philippines as elsewhere, the state is captive to a defective economic model known as neoliberal globalization which sacrifices workers needs to the interests of foreign investors and local capitalists. The regime of suppression of workers wages and labor rights for the sake of an illusory development anchored on foreign investments and global competitiveness continues unabated.
This is confirmed by the International Labour Organization's (ILO) Global Wage Report 2010/2011, which notes that workers in the Philippines are among the lowest paid in the world and wages are falling still. Low wages particularly afflict women workers and even those with high educational attainment. But we really do not need the ILO to confirm the bitter reality felt by workers in the Philippines and elsewhere—low wages, few benefits, contractual jobs, mass unemployment and repression of unions as a result of the race to the bottom in wages and working conditions.
It is not in competition but in solidarity that workers will change the world. As is being learned first-hand by workers in the fight against outsourcing in Philippine Airlines and others, international workers solidarity is a key link in winning struggles. Workers unite!