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Resolutions | Workshop on the Situation of Agricultural Workers in Plantations

Calls regarding the Situation of Agricultural Workers in Plantations

1. Support agricultural workers. Increase the wages of sugar workers. End contractualization. Ensure working conditions are safe and humane. Implement a national minimum wage of Php750.

2. Respect and uphold the rights of agricultural workers. Agricultural workers in plantations, both local- and foreign-owned plantations, should be able to exercise their rights to unionize and freedom of expression. Workers should be able to craft their demands in the form of a collective bargaining agreement with the management. Illegal practices such as union-busting, red-tagging, harassment, imprisonment, forced surrenderees, and extrajudicial killings among the ranks of unionized workers should be stopped and perpetrators should be held accountable. Justice must be served to all agricultural workers unjustly imprisoned and extrajudicially killed.

3. Provide appropriate aid to agricultural workers. The government is mandated to provide aid to sugar workers and their families during the so-called Tiempo Muerto, which means dead- or off-milling season. They should also be provided with immediate aid and relief during times of disasters and calamities.

4. Junk liberalization of the country's sugar industry and agriculture. Instead, the government should support the local food producers. The unbridled land grabbing of foreign plantations on protected areas and indigenous peoples’ ancestral domains should be halted.

5. Support and recognize collective cultivation and initiatives of the peasants to attain food security. There should be public support towards agroecological initiatives towards a genuinely pro-people food system. Corporate capture on food systems and agriculture should be terminated. Farmers’ and agricultural workers’ demands should be heard and prioritized in the policy-making and implementation process.

6. Implement a Genuine Agrarian Reform Program and National Industrialization. Large haciendas and plantations should be dismantled and distributed free of charge to farmers, farmworkers, and agricultural workers. Support services and subsidies should be provided to continue to promote rural development. The free distribution of land to the landless peasants would be the economic foundation for the establishment of a national industrialization program in the country. #

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