March 4, 2024

Realizing that your favorite food on the menu is not available at a restaurant can be disappointing and disheartening, but finding out that the people behind those favorites are being treated unfairly is definitely worse.
A video shared online recently gained attention as it revealed a fast-food employee being directed to actively seek out customers and go door-to-door due to the store experiencing low sales. The employee stated they had a quota of P6,000, but only managed to earn P2,000 that day. She also operated without financial support from her branch’s management, relying on her own money to cover for her expenses. Initially going viral on TikTok, the video garnered a lot of negative reactions on different social media platforms because of the questionable labor practices shown.
This inhumane treatment is a clear demonstration of the management’s prioritization of profit over the well-being of their employees. Amid the numerous challenges the working class faces daily, it is not only appropriate but also essential to ensure humane and just working conditions.
A study conducted by Olivia Fisher from Salve Regina University in 2023 stated that companies use end-of-contract practices to employ workers on brief contracts, evading the obligation of offering benefits.
This practice exacerbates labor disparities in the Philippines, underscoring the necessity for policy changes aimed at establishing equitable labor practices, enhancing job security, and enhancing the well-being of workers.
The female employee shown in the viral video also went beyond the safeguards of her job description, going door-to-door outside of her workplace to meet her quota.
Jinky Leilanie Lu, a researcher from the University of the Philippines Manila, also studied the state of occupational hazards in the Philippines.
Her research found that manufacturing, support, and retail trade sectors were among those subject to a high prevalence of occupational diseases and risks. She also found that women were less protected against safety hazards relative to their male counterparts.
These instances clearly display employees’ challenging situations in their workplaces.
Lu also revealed labor exploitation as a direct consequence of ingrained problems within our societal systems such as capitalism and patriarchy. Tackling these challenges demands a collective effort involving governments, businesses, civil society entities, and individuals working together to instigate systemic transformations that prioritize the welfare and dignity of workers within societal structures.
While the world advances and technology progresses, so does exploitation.
Unjust working conditions also happen in modern technologies such as in different social media applications used to exploit and oppress workers, highlighting the challenges, for instance, faced by riders and the precarious nature of their work.
An online food and grocery delivery platform also showed poor working conditions in the 2023 study by Fernan Tamalayan, which also uncovered structural issues within its system. The study revealed a concerning trend where profit took precedence over the well-being of employees, as seen in instances of inadequate insurance and hazard pay for riders. This emphasized how present-day platforms are structured to cater primarily to the interests of capitalists.
Workers are the backbone of the country’s economy as they play a significant role in the production process. However, such cases blatantly disregard the significance and capability of the workers.
Disregarding the significance of the working class in advancing the nation embodies a capitalist perspective that views their class as mere tools functioning solely for the advantage of those in power. On the whole, recognizing their important role in society and, most importantly, their struggle, is essential for collective effort – as the struggle for the rights of the working class is also a struggle to achieve a society free from all forms of exploitation.
After all, it is perfectly fine if your favorites are not available on the menu, as long as the employees enjoy good working conditions.That way, we will all be champions of fair treatment, creating a ‘ChaoFanalo’ community together.