Protest groups call for workers’ rights amidst labor day celebration

On the celebration of Labor Day last May 1st, several progressive groups such as GABRIELA, Kilusang Mayo Uno, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Nagkaisa! Labor Coalition, and more, marched along the streets of Metro Manila with their respective placards and flags to call for change in the current status of workers in the Philippines.

Among many concerns, labor groups protested for a raise in minimum wage which is currently at an all-time low, especially for the workers in the agricultural sector who get compensated way less than the time and effort they spent working in the fields. Protesters also demanded for an end to contractualization and violence against union members in reference to past labor protests that ended catastrophically.

The groups also marched towards the United States Embassy to express disdain over President Ferdinand Marcos’ visit to the US on Labor Day when he could have taken his chance to communicate instead with Filipinos and create better working conditions for everyone.

Gabriela Women’s Partylist members and other labor groups gathered in España before the kickoff of the protest and march.

Protesters proudly held up posters of esteemed historical figures who made significant contributions to the realization of worker’s rights.

Under the scorching heat of Manila, protest groups marched from España to Mendiola, where the main event was held in high spirits.

Meanwhile, upon arrival in front of the US Embassy, protest groups lay down their flags, placards, and posters on the road to highlight their cause.

Jillian Frances Villanueva