An anti-“endo” bill in the Philippines has passed, ready for President Duterte’s signature. Some companies in the Philippines hire employees short of six months to avoid promoting them to regular status, which would entitle them to additional pay and benefits under law. “Endo” is the name of this practice of ending employment. It was one of President Duterte’s signature campaign promises to stamp it out.
Appalling Endo Policy
I was appalled when I first heard of this “endo” policy when we first moved to the Philippines almost ten years ago. It seemed that the majority of the employees at the SM City in nearby Iloilo City were only “contractual” workers. SM used employment agencies which would supply a labor staff for a term of only five months, thus avoiding full benefits for employees.
Consequently, I didn’t locate many regular employees. The practice of contractualization affects more than 1.9 million workers in the private sector.
SM is one of the largest offenders of this practice. In contrast, SM claimed, in a report by ABS CBN in 2016, that the country’s largest mall operator does not hire workers on “contractual” basis. In a statement SM Investment Corp. Harley Sy stated the following:
“SM does not do contractualization. We do hire for seasons. We have a lot of regular employees.”
Sy went on to say: “We have to follow the law, and we will find ways to survive.”
What a total jeepney load of carabao crap! I’ve talked to dozens of SM employees, including our two twin nieces who worked at SM in Iloilo, who only had five month contracts.
I applaud the Philippines House and Senate for passing this bill. Kudos to President Duterte for pushing this legislation. As a former member of two telecommunications unions for almost 30 years, I support any reasonable law that helps the labor force. It’s also in my DNA.
Going to Work with a Loaded Shotgun and Brass Knuckles
In 1939, my grandfather, Lester H. DeWall, was president of Local #35 of the Progressive Mine Workers in Mt. Olive, Illinois. (Source: macoupin.illinoisgenweb.org.) My father told me numerous times that “Grandpa” was the first president of the Progressive Mine Workers in Mt. Olive.
Grandpa DeWall is second from the right. This picture was taken by the Acme Photo Company in Cincinnati, Oh. sometime in the 1930’s
Grandpa went to work every day with a loaded shotgun and brass knuckles in the front seat of his car. The coal companies would oftentimes hire non-union workers, “scabs,” in an attempt to replace the union workers. Oftentimes, violence would ensue. In 1898, seven striking mine workers lost their lives in the Virden, (Illinois) Massacre.
Legendary Labor Activist Mother Jones Connection
My grandfather, Lester H. DeWall, also worked alongside labor rights legend, “Mother Jones,” Mary Harris Jones.
“One of the most dangerous women in America,” West Virginia District Attorney Reese Blizzard once claimed. All did not appreciate her social reform and labor activities.
Grandpa said she could “out cuss” any man he knew.
Buried near “those brave boys,” the victims of the Virden Massacre, was Mother Jones, per her request, in the Union Miner’s Cemetery in Mt. Olive, Illinois. The cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 18, 1972. Grandpa was also one of the committee members for the Mother Jones monument in Mt. Olive. It’s also his final resting place along with my Grandma and my own Mother.
What the Anti-Endo-Bill Aims to Accomplish
The anti-“endo” bill aims to provide social protection to workers by ensuring their constitutional right to security of tenure, through the prohibition on labor-only contracting.
It also states that all employees, except those who are probationary, will be treated like regular, including project and seasonal employees, entitling them to benefits received by regular workers.
Termination of any employee is not allowed without just and unauthorized cause.