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Duterte to dialogue with labor, employers

President Duterte is set to hold a dialogue with labor groups and management representatives as part of the government’s forthcoming nationwide 115th Labor Day celebration.

In a press conference, Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III disclosed Duterte will meet with stakeholders before the annual scheduled mass protest action of labor groups on May 1.

“This is part of the President’s commitment with the labor sector to hold a quarterly dialogue with them…This just shows that our President is a listening President. He listens and is sensitive to the needs of our workers,” Bello said.

The meeting will be held on May 1, 2017 at the Quezon City Circle.

Around 1,000 workers are expected to attend the event.

During the “free-wheeling” dialogue, Bello said they expect labor groups to raise the issue of contractualization and other labor-related issues.

This was confirmed by Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) spokesman Alan Tanjusay in a text message.

“We hope Mr. Duterte will make economic growth inclusive to workers by gifting workers with the banning of contractualization work arrangement and announce a significant wage hike to all workers nationwide,” Tanjusay said.

ALU-TUCP will be among the numerous labor groups, which will join the traditional nationwide mass demonstration during Labor Day to demand for better working conditions.

Bello said they welcomed the democratic exercise as an opportunity for them to learn about the needs of their stakeholders.

“We welcome all forms of rallies or demonstrations or mass actions provided they are peaceful and no laws is violated,” Bello said. (SAMUEL MEDENILLA)