Jobs and Justice Manifesto
Over the last three decades the advanced capitalist countries have tried to overcome the recurrent crisis of overproduction and to keep their economies and profits growing through the neoliberal offensive of exploiting cheap labor, seizing raw materials and dominating markets across the globe. Since the 1990s, they have resorted more and more to financial devices: speculative profits and debt-driven consumption and production.
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|International mining mission reports of rampant contractualization, depressed wages in mining areas|
|Written by Administrator|
|Wednesday, 02 May 2012 11:46|
The International Solidarity Mission on Mining reported today of rampant contractualization, depressed wages and workers’ rights violations in mining areas particularly in the Cordillera and Caraga regions in the Philippines.
Following a 4-day mission in mining areas in Cordillera and Caraga regions, the ISMM said that mining companies do not only extract natural resources of the country but also gravely exploits Filipino laborers with very low wages and rampant contractualization in mining companies.
Corporate greed, particularly in Lepanto Mining Consolidated Corporation in Mankayan Benguet “exploits workers, militarizes communities, plunders resources, destroys the environment and livelihood of the people of Mankayan and nearby provinces.”
In Cordillera, the ISMM found out that Lepanto out of its more than 1400 workers, majority (800) are contractual employees. The minimum wage in the region is also pegged at P255.00 which is barely half of the estimated P570 daily cost of living in the region.
In the Caraga region, Philsaga and Medusa Mining Corporations in Agusan del Sur reportedly employs only 700 regular workers out of its 4000 workforce.
Large-scale mining companies reportedly “siphon off superprofits” earning as much as Php 36 million for a two-day work of skilled mine workers who receive as low as P233 daily wage. The international mission also observed that mining does not generate jobs as its contribution to job generation is hardly felt accounting only for 3% of Caraga’s total employment.
Workers rights to form unions are also gravely compromised because of the companies’ use of “yellow unions” and maximization of laws that run counter to workers’ rights.
The ISMM also observed that where there is mining operations, there is also increased military presence. In both Caraga and Cordillera regions, militarization has continuously harassed communities surrounding the mining area. In February this year for instance, a 16-year old girl, Isabel, was reportedly raped by military men.
Military clearing operation—ground combat units and aerial bombings—also came right after large-scale mining companies surveyed the area. Mamanwas (local indigenous people’s tribe) were reportedly driven away from their communities and are now staying in evacuation sites.
The ISMM reported that by “simple ocular inspection,” large scale mining evidently has caused environmental destruction—destroying mangrove areas, fishing grounds and the place’s natural landscape.
In contrasting large scale mining with small mining, the group said that small-scale mining particularly in the town of Mat-I in Agusan is evidently more environmentally-sustainable, with trees being preserved and the non-usage of chemicals. Moreover, organized small-scale mining also self-regulates to reduce the impact on the environment although the lack of technology limits the production.
In support of the local resistance waged against large-scale mining in the areas visited, the group is calling for a moratorium against large-scale mining “until a technology is developed to maximize and process the extracted minerals locally.” The group also recommends that an in-depth research on the working conditions in large-scale companies be conducted and that the international solidarity should “expose mining’s astounding negative footprint to the country’s environment and to the working class.”###
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 May 2012 11:49|