The Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) salutes the Kilusang Mayo Uno – Southern Mindanao Region (KMU-SMR) on your 6th Regional Congress from March 31 to April 2, 2016 at GSP Camp Alano, Toril, Davao City.
Your theme “Intensify the fight against neoliberal attacks and militarization against workers and the people! Struggle for genuine, militant and anti-imperialist unionism! Struggle for national democracy with a socialist perspective!” is not merely a slogan but a challenge to boldly advance your work in the region and contribute greatly to the national democratic struggle of the Filipino people.
We are greatly inspired by your record of increasing your union membership by 235% since 2012 because of your correct application of solid organizing and trade union tactics. In particular, KMU-SMR continues to reap concrete victories in the struggle of agricultural workers in SUMIFRU banana plantations and other related ventures through strikes and actions by the unions and the alliance BIGWAS.
We have much to learn from these struggles and we must work closely with the militant trade union movement led by KMU. UMA’s main task is to organize agricultural workers in haciendas, plantations, and capitalist-run farms like banana plantations, most of which are found in Mindanao and the Southern Mindanao Region in particular. Together we must push forward the struggle for a National Minimum Wage, higher wages, better working and living conditions and job security. At the same time, we must advance the struggle for genuine land reform, Filipinization of land in the hands of foreigners and national industrialization. UMA is also at the forefront of establishing and defending land cultivation areas or “bungkalan” mainly for subsistence of agricultural workers, like in Negros and Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac.
We look forward to closer and stronger relations with KMU-SMR in organizing agricultural workers to achieve more victories in our struggle for genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization!
Long live KMU-SMR!
Long live the agricultural workers!
Long live the working class!
Struggle for genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization!
Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura