Friday, May 30, 2008
We had a one-week training with the university personnel. I was shocked with the issues I heard particularly with regards to the workers at the food service. I love to eat at the UFS, i often buy arroz caldo and tokwa because they serve them hot and crispy. But woes befall them when they heard that the administration will eventually close the UFS for a "better" food service. This "rumor" is becoming real with the number of workers in the UFS being reduced from 130+ to only 30. Though still surviving, many of them now are doing nothing on the job because they have no more budget to buy for food supplies. My heart was bleeding while listening to them. "ahh, I thought my campus is the freest in the country but obviously with those actions they are bleeding their workers to death." If I could only tell them the blatant truth: truly privatization has already seeped in the university. They are using this 'bleed them dry' tactic to eliminate the "excess" workers. Another issue that touched me was the story of a pregnant single mother. She was deprived of her right for a maternity benefit for the simple reason that she intends to keep and raise her baby alone. Another woman related that she worked for 45 years in the university, but up to these times she had not received any commendation (loyalty award) from the job. Whew!!! I never thought officials in the universal could be that cruel! How much more in other universities which do not label themselves progressives. Perhaps, we can do something about these different forms of discrimination. Unfortunately, the union itself is divided and crippled with its own issue of "divisiveness". Perhaps, some re-thinking and grounding must be done to help solve those problems: we cannot remain silent and compromise our position primarily because work is an expression of life and love. Not finding ourselves in our work can only mean "death". What can we give to our country and how can we extol our humanity if we are just living "deathly lives".