Labor leaders walk out of 'endo' talks

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Labor department is supposed to release the much-awaited order seeking to regulate contractualization after months of give-and-take between workers and employers.

But some labor leaders walked out of a meeting with Labor officials and employer groups Tuesday afternoon to iron out the department order.

They claimed most of the final draft of the order is favorable to employers, and it appeared the differences are irreconcilable.

The final draft allows manpower agencies to regularize workers instead of the principal employers, while contractualization will be allowed for seasonal and project-based jobs.

But labor groups want a total ban on contractualization and agency hiring.

They are banking on President Rodrigo Duterte's promise during a meeting last week where he agreed to the request of labor groups.

That's why some labor leaders were angry when they saw the final draft.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello earlier said the law does not allow a total ban on contractualization.

He gave both sides four more days to arrive at a compromise.

"Yung total prohibition, it's not yet time because there is an existing law which allows... I cannot be more powerful than the law," he said.

Bello also said 'endo' or end of contract practice will no longer be allowed and violators will be penalized.

He said the department order will be released next week.

Labor groups will not give up on their call for a total ban on contractualization as they've been holding on Duterte's campaign promise to end all forms of the practice.

They said if the President's word will not be respected, Bello should be fired.

Labor groups said they're planning to hold protests nationwide and encourage other labor groups to participate in a work stoppage.