Migrante Canada and Bayan Canada salute all workers from the Philippines, migrant workers, and workers in Canada and their genuine unions and labour organizations on this International Day of Workers. We applaud their struggles of many years for decent wages, job security and the free exercise of trade-union rights as well as their resistance to militarism, imperialist plunder and war.
The capitalists concentrate primarily on the greatest production possible and at the least production cost possible in order to achieve the biggest profit possible. Hence, they use the state to open migration for seasonal and temporary migrant workers, skilled and unskilled; and they use a subcontracted labour force in order to cut costs entailed by regular employment. And they even send semi-manufactured items for completion at the least cost in third world countries and shipped back as finished products forwarded directly to distributors in order to further cut costs.
As a result of decolonization due to the direct and indirect effects of armed national liberation movements, imperialist countries have used mass migration since the 1970s to make up for the loss of colonies and semi-colonies. To make up for falling profit rates, host countries are ensuring the further underdevelopment of former colonies and semi-colonies to maximize profits. The resulting rise in mass unemployment and poverty drive people to migrate.
Neo-liberal strategists, think tanks, academe and mass media of the monopoly bourgeoisie obscure the fact that economic and social conditions are worsening for the working class and even for the middle class because of the crisis of overproduction and the unsustainable abuse of credit. It has pressed down wages, eroded social benefits and services, and increased unemployment and poverty among the people.
Workers are kept ignorant of the fact that the mass migration from the underdeveloped to developed countries is the result of the policies of the monopoly bourgeoisie to avail of cheap labour, to keep the underdeveloped countries remain underdeveloped and to wage wars of aggression to put down anti-imperialist governments and popular movements asserting national independence and demanding broader democracy, social justice and industrial development.
In the Philippines, unemployment, landlessness and privatization of public services continue to inflict more pain and agony to the poor farmers and workers. Adding insult to injury, the ongoing imposition of Duterte’s TRAIN law caused prices of basic commodities to spike rapidly. Hence, millions more of our compatriots leave the country for greener pastures abroad. Desperation has even caused many to end up working in war-torn and hostile countries. Duterte’s attitude on the issue of the OFWs in Kuwait and the case of MJ Veloso displays his lack of a clear and comprehensive program to resolve the long-standing problem of the migrant workers.
And whenever certain governments and revolutionary movements rise and assert for national sovereignty, nationalizing the economy and promote industrial development, imperialist countries unleash campaigns of destabilization which leads to regime change and wars of aggression — the biggest and worst form of terrorism. The monopoly bourgeoisie and their puppets in the colonies and semicolonies resort to the outright use of the most reactionary ideas and sentiments to obscure the roots of the crisis of monopoly capitalism, to mislead the broad masses of the people and use the grossest form of violence and deception to suppress anti-imperialist and democratic mass movements which aim for national liberation, people’s democracy and socialism.
The Duterte fascist regime, kowtowing to the impositions of its US and Chinese masters, thus wages a war against the people by unleashing state terror with relentless killings and bombings over communities and it has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and the indigenous lumads in martial law Mindanao. In the Island of Negros dozens of farmers from Sagay, Canlaon, Manjuyod, and Sta. Catalina were massacred by state forces. Aside Negros, military forces have been deployed in the Bicol Region and in the Cordillera Region where an irrigation project funded by a loan and implemented by China on the Chico River.
People in developed countries are themselves victimized by the monopoly bourgeoisie and are misled by the specialists of the capitalist system to believe that migrants are to blame for the erosion of wages and living conditions of the local working class and middle class.
More and more, the workers and their parties must rise up and strengthen solidarity among workers in the homefront, migrant workers, and workers in the host country and the broad masses of the people. They should ensure that they have the genuine labour unions and organizations which will fight for, protect and promote their workers’ rights and welfare, just and decent wages, appropriate health and safety conditions at work.
Workers in the Philipppines continue to press for an end to contractualization (which Duterte promised since 2016), flexible working schemes, and union-busting; the standardization of national minimum wage with the demand for PhP750 (although far from the P1004 needed to meet basic needs of a family); aside from fighting against attacks on their right to unionize.
In Canada, we demand a $15 minimum wage, the regulation of recruitment agencies, the rights and welfare of temporary foreign workers, and equal rights to all workers regardless of status.
We all must together fight for a society in which the conditions of greater freedom, democracy, social justice, development, cultural progress, peace and international solidarity can be realized.
Unite against imperialist exploitation, plunder and war!
Long live international solidarity! ###