STRONG AND AGGRESIVE ang position nina businessman Joey Concepcion at Carlito Galvez hinggil sa pag-discriminate ng mga manggagawang bakunado at hindi bakunado.
They are hell-bent on eliminating unvaccinated workers and customers from the mainstream and allow vaccinated ones to operate.
Concepcion and Galvez are trying to make this a policy despite the fact that even how much many people and workers would want to be vaccinated the supplies are inadequate. The access to vaccines particularly in provinces near Metro Manila is so poor as well.
Both Concepcion and Galvez are disconnected and do not actually know what is happening on the ground.
Recently, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said employers can now fire and withhold salary of unvaccinated workers in light of IATF alert level 3 guidelines.
But the guidelines do not explicitly say that. But Bello interpreted it in such way that it caused confusion, demoralization and disenfranchisement among workers, especially those who are willing to get vaccinated but have no access to the vaccines.
However, the IATF resolution cannot supersede the Labor Code that says it is illegal not to pay and withhold the salary of workers.
It also cannot defeat RA 11525 Vaccination Program Law that says vaccination status should not be a condition to fire and hire workers.
The central and main problem is the inadequacy of supply of vaccines and the poor access of workers to vaccination slots.
But why IATF and businesses make workers suffer for the inadequacy and unavailability of vaccines. Isn’t that unfair and disadvantageous to workers?
Why would the worker be fired for not having access to vaccines — a clear case that it is the government’s fault.
This policy would only boost further unemployment and underemployment and would widen and deepen poverty among workers and their families.
In the long run, many businesses would suffer and weaken because of unemployment and discrimination this policy would create.
The joblessness, underemployment and the slackening of businesses will halt our national struggle for slowly and surely rise up and recover from the economic and health crises that the pandemic has brought upon us.
It’s easy for Concepcion, Galvez and Bello to say many things without weighing the consequences and balancing the welfare and interest of workers on the other.
Isang araw lang na mawalan ng trabaho ang isang manggagawa, bagsak sa gutom at kahirapan ang buong pamilya.
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