April 8, 2015
Weeks before the celebration of Labor Day, workers from the Lakas ng Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Sagara Metro Plastic Industrial Corporation – Independent (LNMSMPIC-Ind) trooped to government labor offices today to slam the arbitrary restraint of the Certification Elections (CE) earlier this morning.
Two hundred and forty-eight regular workers were slated to vote today to decide the recognition of LNMSMPIC-Ind as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent (SEBA).
According to Thaddeus Gecale, Union President of LMSMPIC-Ind, “We question the dubious reasons and the muddled due process leading to the unjust cancellation of the elections.”
Based from gathered documents, the arbitrary restraint came from an alleged memorandum or “Administrative Order” from Regional Director Benjo Benavides of the Department of Labor and Employment-Labor Relations office. This is in spite of the legal requirement that only a Temporary Restraining Order from the Court of Appeals can stop an election. The memorandum forced Election Officer Nora Aguilar to follow unless she will be handed “administrative sanctions”. More so, the company management and counterfeit union National Mines and Allied Workers’ Unions (NAMAWU) collaborated to stop the CE and urge workers to vote No, with posters and flyers distributed inside and outside of the factory premises.
Yesterday, workers were dismissed four hours before the end of their shifts and were allowed not to report to work or a forced leave of absence in attempts to generate failure of elections, among other efforts.
However, indignant in their tone, they are still in high hopes that LMSMPIC-Ind will be the true pillar of workers in the factory.
“The labor repression in Sagara is also connected to the widespread contractualization in the workplace, as even regular workers are prevented to join unions or establish true, militant unions and are thus forced into low wages and benefits. This is a sad fact that the 5th Labor Day under BS Aquino, the labor sector is still surviving under scraps from big foreign capitalists that are so called investors of this country,” said Allan Bagas, Secretary-General of PAMANTIK-KMU.
“This setback is not a hindrance to our fight for workers’ rights. It is a reminder that militant action is important to genuinely voice the workers’ plight,” Gecale ended, pledging that the fight to establish their union, LMSMPIC-Ind. will continue until victorious.