La­bor day

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

I cel­e­bra­tion few or Day coun­tries: Belgium, The the mean­ing. uni­ver­sal­ity have global is T’S is­sues value Also cel­e­brated SAD France, un­der­stood known Brazil, of re­lated is char­ac­ter that La­bor en­joyed not and as Bo­livia, ev­ery in to only Day. In­ter­na­tional of a and la­bor, Norway by coun­try May the of Filipinos Mex­ico, ap­pre­ci­ated Like peo­ple our cel­e­bra­tion 1 – in most plagued sta­tus just more Work­ers’ Chile, how­ever do to hol­i­days, its not and re­minds name or with In­dia, sig­nif­i­cance see less con­di­tion, Day, only a a to­day’s the eighty lot few. us La­bor a of of but a the la­bor­ers “worker” Sec­ond also Thanks are of or the In­ter­na­tional, not to “la­borer” very the merely so­cial­ist dignity in­stru­ments is peo­ple grounded. on move­ment, which are or re­minded the means specif­i­cally con­cept to that of in­crease who of la­bor came cap­i­tal. is­sues from and a No coun­try move­ments, less than that then was re­minds Pope at the us John cross­roads that: Paul II cap­i­tal It has “The key is a principle importance pos­tu­late of of both the the pri­or­ity in or­der the sys­tem of of labour so­cial built moral­ity. over on the principle pro­duc­tion of and pri­vate also own­er­ship in the sys­tem of the in means which of pri­vate own­er­ship rad­i­cal way” of (La­bore­mex­ercens, these means has been 15). lim­ited even in a

With re­gard to the rights of work­ers, John Paul

II re­minds us: “While work, in all its many senses, is an obli­ga­tion, that is to say a duty, it is also a source of rights on the part of the worker. These rights must be ex­am­ined in the broad con­text of hu­man rights as a whole, which are con­nat­u­ral with man, and many of which are pro­claimed by var­i­ous in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions and in­creas­ingly guar­an­teed by the in­di­vid­ual States for their cit­i­zens re­spect for this broad range of hu­man rights con­sti­tutes the fun­da­men­tal con­di­tion for peace in the mod­ern world: peace both within in­di­vid­ual coun­tries and so­ci­eties and in in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions . . .”

(La­bore­mex­ercens, 16).

Ap­par­ently, much has to be done in or­der to ad­vance work­ers’ rights and thus cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment with less ex­ploita­tion of work­ers and much re­spect for their dignity as per­sons. In dif­fer­ent parts of the globe, vi­o­la­tions against work­ers rights con­tinue or are even wors­en­ing. Though there have been im­prove­ments, thanks to leg­is­la­tions, in some of the prac­tices and poli­cies re­lated to la­bor, still we are rel­a­tively far from achiev­ing the de­sired so­cial re­forms in fa­vor of the work­ing class. From is­sues of child la­bor to un­just work­ing con­di­tions, still we hear and see var­i­ous ver­sions of op­pres­sion all in the name of profit and cap­i­tal.

It is sad to note that de­spite Pres­i­dent Duterte’s ini­tial sig­nal of ad­vanc­ing pro-la­bor poli­cies, the Philip­pines has never come up with a so­cial sys­tem with suf­fi­cient sup­port struc­tures for work­ers. Health­care ben­e­fits for ex­am­ple would de­pend on the gen­eros­ity of the worker, while the so­cial se­cu­rity sys­tem is faced with is­sues of in­sta­bil­ity.

Why these on­go­ing la­bor-re­lated is­sues? It is un­for­tu­nate that in the course of his­tory, be­ing pro­la­bor was as­so­ci­ated with so­cial­ism or com­mu­nism. It’s as if work­ers are told that they have rights, and they can in­voke their rights ex­cept for those that will threaten the busi­ness own­ers. This is the great­est blun­der of all blun­ders. While the ob­jec­tive is not to cre­ate an an­tag­o­nism be­tween work­ers and busi­ness­men, nonethe­less the former should not be de­prived of their ba­sic en­ti­tle­ment to a just work­ing con­di­tion.

As the elec­tion sea­son draws nearer, hope­fully, vot­ers will also con­sider the can­di­date’s plat­form, if there is any, on work­ers and their rights. Ad­vanc­ing the rights of work­ers is a key in­gre­di­ent in the very process of hu­man­iza­tion. At the end of the day our strug­gle to pro­tect the worker is no less a strug­gle in de­fense of the hu­man per­son and his dignity.*

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