March 29, 2004
“The two-day transport strike will push through tomorrow!” This was the declaration of Manuel Duran, Chairperson of the National Transportworkers’ Union (NTU) in response to the withdrawal of some transport groups from the planned actions after having a dialogue with Malacañang.
Malacañang today met with the representatives of the NTU, PCDO-ACTO, FEJODAP, MJODA and ALTODA.
“The meeting was a waste of time,” Bren Sayasa, Deputy Secretary General of the NTU said after attending the said meeting. “After all, the best they come up with are the same unworkable schemes of discounts and minor changes in the tariff rates, and nothing about a rollback of oil prices nor our demand for P1.50 fare increase!” he added.
In the same meeting, government again reiterated their threats to cancel the franchises of those transport workers who would participate in tomorrow’s strike. “Such threats remind us of the Marcos dictatorship,” Josua Mata , APL Secretary General said, “We were not cowed then, we certainly would not be cowed now!”
Among the cities and provinces to be hit by the NTU-APL tomorrow are as follows: NCR; Pampanga; Laguna; Cavite; Cebu; Davao; Cagayan de Oro; Zamboanga; Cotabato; General Santos. In the NCR, APL activists will set-up strike centers in Welcome Rotonda.
The National Transportworkers’ Union (NTU) is an umbrella organization of transport workers’ federations nationwide founded last December 2003. It is an affiliate of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), a national labor center embracing various forms of workers’ organizations in the formal and informal sectors.