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FFW calls for end to discrimination vs. workers, civil servants

The Federation of Free Workers (FFW) on Thursday urged the government and private sector to end discrimination against workers and civil servants.

FFW president Atty. Sonny Matula called for the preservation of life and elimination of threats to the safety and health of workers in commemoration of the International Workers Memorial Day for Dead and Injured Workers.

“The first and most alarming form of discrimination is the harassment, termination, and even killing or abduction of workers who attempt to organize unions. Many of these workers are red-tagged as communists or terrorists, creating a climate of fear that stifles their right to advocate for better working conditions and fair treatment,” Matula said in a statement.

Matula said that there is also discrimination in wages with workers in Metro Manila receiving higher salaries than provincial counterparts.

He also raised the issue of hiring contractual workers.

“Workers who perform the same tasks as regular employees should be considered regular and given security of tenure. This practice denies workers job security and benefits that they are rightfully entitled to,” Matula said.

Matula said the FFW strongly objected to the escrow provision in the proposed Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers.

“The FFW strongly objects to the escrow provision in House Bill 7325, which is also opposed by Filipino seafarers themselves. This provision states that any monetary award for a sick or deceased seaman from the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) or National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) will not be immediately available to the seaman winning the case,” Matula said.

Last March, the House of Representatives approved the Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers on second reading.

House Bill 7325 provides for the standard employment contract of the seafarer, which contains the terms and conditions of employment duly approved by the Department of Migrant Workers, as well as requiring shipowners to provide decent accommodations and recreational facilities onboard ships in accordance with the standards, regulations, and applicable provisions of the 2006 Maritime Labor Convention.

Matula called on the government to take immediate action against all forms of discrimination against workers.

“The organization will continue to advocate for workers' rights and urges the public to join them in the fight for a more inclusive, equal, and just society,” he added. —Richa Noriega/NB, GMA Integrated News