This Day in History: Araw ng Manggagawa

     Labor Day or Araw ng Manggagawa is a non-working holiday celebrated on May 1 of every year in the Philippines. It was started in the US in 1884. In the Philippines, it was first celebrated in 1903 when the country was still under the American rule. Ten years after, the Congreso Obrero de Filipinos fought for important labor laws that we are enjoying at the present time such as the 8-hour working day,  the abolition of child labor, just labor standards for women and liability of capitalists. Since then, Labor Day in the Philippines has been commemorated not only with parades and celebration but also with rallies and demonstrations of the labor sector.
protests and demonstrations during the celebration of Labor Day
Included in the Nagkaisa coalition are the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), Partido ng mga Manggagawa,  Alliance of Progressive Labor, Federation of Free Workers, Philippine Airlines Employees Association and several other unions and federations nationwide
     In the celebration of Labor Day this 2012, 40 labor federations formed a coalition named Nagkaisa to urge the government to increase the minimum wage and end labor contractualization. However, in a breakfast meeting with Nagkaisa leaders, president Benigno Aquino III, rejected the proposal for an across the board wage increase since it will result in the loss of profit of companies which will lead to layoffs and soaring prices of commodities. President Aquino also laid down the government’s battle plan to address unemployment, underemployment and other labor issues. The four strategies are to maintain the number of jobs currently available, to create more jobs, to improve the job skills and knowledge of Filipinos and to implement labor laws in order to protect the workers.

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