Workers, march at the vanguard of the Philippine revolution!

Communist Party of the Philippines
May 1, 2013

Translation: Manggagawa, magmartsa sa unahan ng rebolusyong Pilipino!

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins millions of Filipino workers on the occasion of the International Workers Day. As the advanced detachment of the working class, the CPP recognizes May 1 as among the most historic days for the toiling masses and their militant struggle to advance and defend their rights and welfare. May 1 has a special place in the history of socialist revolution.

On the occasion of May 1, the CPP joins the mass of Filipino workers in advancing and defending their democratic rights and welfare. The CPP supports the clamor of the workers for higher wages, to defend their union rights and oppose contractualization and other forms of flexible labor.

The conditions of the Filipino working class under the current US-Aquino regime are deplorable. Continuing the policy of "cheap labor" is among the fundamental policies of the US-Aquino regime in line with its perverted and worn-out "development" program designed by the IMF-WB that relies on foreign debt and investments. The problem of low wages is further aggravated by the "two-tier wage system" that basically denies the workers right to a minimum wage.

Almost half of the entire labor force are unemployed or underemployed. Around 10% of the Philippine population work overseas as contractual workers, indicative of the backwardness of the economy. The successive pro-IMF governments have opposed land reform and national industrialization. As a result, the problems of widespread unemployment and pervasive poverty, hunger and rural oppression have become acute. The reactionary government makes use of widespread unemployment to further push down workers wages.

Over the past thirty years, successive reactionary governments relentlessly carried out neo-liberal policies which have caused worsening conditions for Filipino workers. Workers unions have been oppressed and smashed left and right with the aim of disabling them from defending their rights and welfare. The number of unionized workers relative to the number of workers in general are at its lowest in the past 50 years.

Widespread contractualization and other forms of flexible labor pave the way for the all-out oppression of Filipino workers. Under the threat of "end of contract" at the termination of their three to six months contracts, workers are forced to accept the worst forms of oppression and exploitation.

The toiling masses suffer the most intolerable conditions. Extremely low wages are insufficient in the face of the rapid increase in the prices of basic commodities and left and right tax burdens. Majority of the proletariat and semi-proletariat are forced to live in shanties devoid or lacking facilities. The government's austerity measures and privatization of public services have deprived workers and toiling people of much needed free health and education services. Demolitions of urban poor communities are carried out one after another in order to pave the way for infrastructure projects of foreign and local big business.

The grave oppression and downtrodden conditions of the mass of working class Filipinos arouse them of the need for militant struggle and revolutionary change. Despite the threats, they persist in building their unions and various types of organizations and launch strikes and other forms of struggle.

The prevailing social conditions favor the resurgence of the militant movement of the mass of workers in the next years. The revolutionary workers are tasked to broadly arouse the toiling masses and militate them to the path of struggle.

The Communist Party of the Philippines calls on the masses of Filipino workers to march at the vanguard of the Philippine revolution. To this end, they must be aroused not solely on their conditions as workers, but on their relations as well with other oppressed classes and sectors, especially the peasant class. Their minds and spirit must be prepared to march along the difficult struggles which is the sole path to achieve the necessary changes and claim even temporary relief.

Millions of workers should be broadly aroused on the relevant issues concerning their poverty and oppression. Expose the big business interests behind the government contracts. Expose the foreign big capitalists that plunder our natural resources, oppress the workers and pocket superprofits. Expose the big landlords and its collusion with the pro-landlord Aquino regime. Expose the foreign monopolies behind the overpricing of oil products. Expose the IMF-WB behind the pro-imperialist economic policies.

Intensify the struggles of the working class and toiling masses inside and outside the factories. Persist in building workers unions and other forms of organizations. Advance the struggle for higher wages. Wage all-out struggle against contractualization and assert the right to unionize and collective bargaining. Firmly oppose the demolition of working-class communities. Oppose the privatization scheme and other forms of government abandonment of the welfare of its people in favor of the interests of big business.

Relentlessly expose and isolate the anti-worker and anti-people US-Aquino regime. Resist its puppetry to US imperialism and its serving as pawn to US hegemonism in Asia. Oppose its policy of giving the US military full-access to all sea and airports. Oppose the permanent presence of US military troops and its interventionism in the country's internal affairs.

Rapidly expand the membership of the CPP among the mass of workers. There should be definite targets of expansion of Party branches and the building of new branches where there are yet none. Ensure that the basic course of the Party is conducted among the workers activists and promptly have them take their oaths as candidate or full members of the CPP. Ensure that they are appropriately tasked with recruitment of new members and building new Party branches, organizing the masses, conducting educational discussions and advancing mass struggles.

Broadly arouse the mass of workers to join the armed struggle in the countryside. Resolutely recruit Red fighters among the workers. The broad participation of the working class, as well as the educated youth, are among the key tasks in advancing the people's war to a new stage in the coming years.