100 Years of Nestlé in the Philippines: A centenary of exploitation and suppression of the Filipino working class and people

While Nestlé spends billions in advertisements for its 100 years of business in the Philippines, the Filipino workers and people have no reason to celebrate in the centennial of exploitation and terror by this foreign monopoly capitalist.

On the first week of May, the news on salmonella contamination of Maggi noodle products alarmed most consumers. Aside from this, the Swiss company has more blood debts behind the ads blitz and sponsorships.

Nothing is to be proud of with a multinational corporation number one in continuously playing above Philippine laws. The Supreme Court, in 1991, ruled the Nestlé workers’ Retirement Benefits a legitimate issue in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the union and management in Cabuyao, Laguna. With its political and economic influences, Nestlé did not implement the SC decision.

The defence of SC decision, the right to union, right to collectively bargain, and other laws are the basic grounds for strike of the more than 600 Nestlé workers on January 14, 2002. The SC reaffirmed on 2008 its earlier decision, however Nestlé still ignored the decision.

The workers had been on strike for more than nine (9) years now. Forty-eight (48) striking workers died in the course of the struggle without seeing justice being served.

The Retirement Benefits package is but just a small amount asked by workers in their retirement after having spent more than half their lives in service to Nestlé. This is but a small crumb compared to Nestlé’s P1.67 billion expense for 4,310 minutes of television advertisement in the first three months of this year alone.

Aside from doing business above the law, Nestlé is notorious for the assassination of two union presidents in the Cabuyao factory. With hired goons, police and military, Meliton Roxas was shot in front of their picketline on January 20, 1989 and Diosdado Fortuna while on his way home from the picketline on September 22, 2005. Justice has not been served to these martyred leaders

Abroad, Nestlé is held responsible for the killing of 12 unionists in Nestlé Colombia, including Luciano Enrique Romero Molina and Gustavo Gomez.

For the Filipino working class and the people, the big show being put by Nestlé for its 100 years of business in the country is but drenched in blood.###

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