KUNDENAHIN ANG MALAWAKANG TANGGALAN SA PAGAWAAN NG KARZAI! IPAGTANGGOL ANG KASEGURUHAN SA HANAPBUHAY AT KARAPATAN! KUMILOS AT LUMABAN PARA MAGTAGUMPAY!

KUNDENAHIN ANG MALAWAKANG TANGGALAN SA PAGAWAAN NG KARZAI! IPAGTANGGOL ANG KASEGURUHAN SA HANAPBUHAY AT KARAPATAN! KUMILOS AT LUMABAN PARA MAGTAGUMPAY!

DSC_0258Ang pagawaan ng Karzai Corp., isang kompanyang pagaari ni Romeo To, ay nag-ooperate sa Brgy. Sala, Cabuyao City, Laguna. Dahil nasa lupaing saklaw ng ating bayan, dapat itong sumunod sa batas na umiiral sa ating bansa at dapat tiyakin ng mga nasa katungkulan sa gobyerno na sumusunod ito at gumagalang sa karapatan ng manggagawang Pilipino. Subalit lihis sa batas ang ginagawa ng dayuhang kompanya at muling ibinabalik ng dayuhang kapitalista ng Karzai ang hindi makataong pagtrato sa manggagawa.

Masahol ang kalagayan ng mga manggagawa ng Karzai sa loob ng pagawaan. Umaabot sa 90% ng manggagawa nito ang nasa ilalim ng kontraktwalisasyon, walang katiyakan sa trabaho, walang mga benepisyo at sumasahod lang P315 kada araw. Kinakaltasan pa ng kung anu-ano ng kanilang agency sa ‘di maipaliwanag na mga dahilan. Sa loob ng tatlong taon hindi nakatangap ang mga manggagawa ng kanilang 13th month pay.

Dahil sa ganitong kalagayan nagpasya ang mga manggagawa na magreklamo sa Department of Labor and Employment noong Pebrero 2015. Ngunit sa halip na masolusyunan ang kanilang mga inilapit na problema ay pagtatanggal pa ang isinukli ng kapitalista sa naunang 24 manggagawa na nanguna sa pagrereklamo. Hindi pa nasiyahan, nagpatuloy ang ginawang pagtanggal sa mga mangaggawa na umabot na sa mahigit 60 ang inalisan ng kabuhayan dahil lang sa pagtatanggol ng kanilang karapatan.

Dahil sa ganitong kalagayan, Mayo 5, 2015 pormal ng itinayo ang unyon ng manggagawa sa pangalang ILAW, GABAY AT PAG-ASA NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA KARZAI CORPORATION – ORGANIZED LABOR ASSOCIATION IN LINE INDUSTRIES AND AGRICULTURE ( IGPAK-OLALIA). Nitong Mayo 25 nag-file ang IGPAK-OLALIA ng “Notice Of Strike” upang sama-samang ipagtanggol at ipaglaban ang karapatan na dapat matagal ng tinatamasa.

Makatwiran at may moral na batayan ang paglaban ng mga manggagawa. Tanging sa sama-samang pagkilos makakamit ang pagbabago ng kanilang kalagayan sa loob ng pagawaan. Marapat lang na ang lahat ng manggagawa ay suportahan ang laban para sa regular na hanapbuhay at pagtatamasa ng karapatang pangmanggagawa.

 

IBALIK ANG MGA MANGGAGAWANG ILIGAL NA TINANGGAL SA KARZAI!

GAWING REGULAR ANG MANGGAGAWANG KONTRAKTWAL SA KARZAI!

IBASURA ANG KONTRAKTWALISASYON! IPAGLABAN ANG REGULARISASYON!

 

ILAW, GABAY AT PAG-ASA NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA KARZAI CORPORATION (IGPAK-OLALIA)

LIGA NG MANGGAGAWA PARA SA REGULAR NA HANAPBUHAY (LIGA)

Uphold the dignity of Filipino workers! End contractualization!

03

For two weeks now, we have witnessed the tragedy that razed 72 of our fellow Filipinos. The details that unfolded seemed already familiar, resembling that of the supertyphoons Yolanda and Pablo – when the victims were helpless to their fate, devoured by the flames that turned them into ashes along with the Kentex factory. But one by one the unrecognizable faces had names, fire turned into tears as families cried out their conditions inside the workforce. Investigations exposed the culprits – that this is not a mere tragedy, but a systemic neglect deeply rooted to our social ills as a struggling nation. With the death of the Kentex workers, it has never before been clearer: in a country dominated by industries cloaked as “aid from foreign investors” – there is no genuine respect for the labor force.

The Department of Labor and Employment headed by Rosalinda Baldoz and the government of Noynoy Aquino are not mere “observers” and “commentators” to this crime – they are the real masterminds as to why the conditions lead to the death of the 72. The crime of legalizing contractualization has been in operation for decades, since the birth of the Herrera Law during Cory Aquino’s term. Now, her son perpetrates and even worsens the problem, where every factory is a danger zone for workers. If not to be killed due to the lack of respect for Occupational Health Standards, workers are slowly dying caused by meager wages, loss of benefits, and no job security.

Workers, who are the heart of our economy, deserve to be treated better. They deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Consecutive administrations have done nothing to improve the lives of the workers, but only served the interest of foreign and local capitalists. Indeed, there can never exist a world where corporate profit-making is maximized without taking away the wealth supposedly given to the toiling masses. Contractualization has not only tied the majority of the Filipinos in the chains of poverty, it has also stunted the potential of our labor force. Contractualization has become a norm – an idea that we can make do with what we have without realizing that the elite few exploit us more when we have the right to demand for what is fair.

These are precisely the same reasons why contractual workers are learning to organize their ranks and fight for better working conditions. The ongoing strike of the 397 contractual workers of Tanduay Distillers Inc. calling for regularization is a historic feat. Tanduay workers have been employed for 5 to 11 years, and yet no significant improvements were made by the management. It showcases the nature of workers to collectively resolve things – only through a militant and principled manner. The strike which started last May 18 gives hope for all contractual workers throughout the country, that there is a weapon that can be used to defend their rights when company owners like Lucio Tan tramples on their livelihood. As of press time, 50 workers and supporters have already been injured by Lucio Tan’s hired goons dressed as security guards.

Not only in Tanduay Distillers Inc. but throughout Southern Tagalog, 70% to 80% of the total labor force remain contractual. With companies like Karzai Corporation, Sagara Metro Plastic Industrial Corp. and Manila Cordage Corp. in Laguna alone, majority of contractual workers are already rising to the challenge of forming organizations leading to a genuine, militant and anti-imperialist union.

We expect that in the coming months, company owners will do everything necessary to preserve their interest for profit. But repression and violence can never stop the workers’ strength and just cause.  We therefore call Filipinos from various sectors to support us.

Let us put an end to contractualization as a first step in upholding the dignity of the Filipino workers!

 

Small step to victory: DoLE Region-IV exposes Tanduay management’s “non-compliance to Labor Code”

10511515_657644097699687_2831234566476296350_o

CABUYAO CITY, LAGUNA – Cheers from the picket line were heard today when Tanduay workers on strike celebrated a small step to victory as the National Conciliation Mediation Board (NCMB) released the results of Department of Labor and Employment inspection stating the Tanduay management’s “Non-compliance with Department Order No. 18-A, series of 2011”.

The good news came as the workers at the picket line welcomed their fellow workers who came back from a protest action with Kilusang Mayo Uno, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, and other sectoral groups who trooped to the Department of Labor and Employment in Intramuros, Manila., Mendiola and the International Office of Tanduay Distillers, Inc at Makati City earlier today.

Anse Are, President of the Tanggulang Ugnayan Daluyang Lakas ng Anakpawis sa Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TUDLA) said that this is a solid basis for proving that Lucio Tan practices the illegal Labor Only Contracting (LOC). In a 5-page document addressed to all parties including the Tanduay management and the agencies of Global Skills Providers Multi-purpose Cooperative and HD Manpower Service Cooperative, DoLE stated that the basis for non-compliance are:

a. Supervision and Control – Employees of the Service Cooperatives were directly reporting to the Supervisor of the Tanduay Distillery, Inc.,” and,

b. Work Assignment – Employees of the Service Cooperatives were assigned at the production area which is necessary in the operation of the Principal’s business”

“DoLE has yet to expose that the tools and equipment are owned by Tanduay management and not from the agencies. We urge the officials to be thoroughly honest with their report,” Are said.

Added to the indicated violations from the management were the “non-payment of five days Service Incentive Leave Pay” and “Unauthorized deduction of medicines, uniform and Personal Protective Equipment”. Several issues on Occupational Safety and Health Standards were also reported.

“We shall not let ourselves turn complacent because of this legal victory. We know that Lucio Tan and the Tanduay management will do everything they can to manipulate the legal system. Or even if we win legally, they may still become adamant to our demands for regularization. The NCMB result will further fuel our strike in the next days until concrete victory is attained,” Are stressed. He added that the management has yet to be held accountable for the numerous human rights abuses made by hundreds of hired goons who have attempted to disperse them through violence.

Tanduay workers have been on strike for 10 days now calling for the regularization of 397 workers employed as contractuals for 5 to 11 years. ###

“Baldoz, lapdog of Lucio Tan, killer of contractual workers!” ~PAMANTIK-KMU

IMG_8764

Southern Tagalog labor center Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (PAMANTIK-KMU) called for the ouster of Department of Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz saying that she is nothing but a “killer of contractual workers” and a “lapdog of capitalists like Lucio Tan!”

This is in lieu of Baldoz’ cover-up on her accountability during the razing of the Kentex factory which killed 72 workers. Roque Polido, Chairperson of PAMANTIK-KMU said that Baldoz is now a “big show-off” in terms of calling for compensation to the families of the Kentex victims when in reality, she is primarily responsible for the labor policies that brought the conditions of the tragedy. “The 72 should still be alive today if not for the widespread legalized contractualization that Baldoz’ further implemented under her term,” Roque said. He stressed that due to Department Order (DO) 18-A, companies have flushed down the drain all their responsibilites for higher wages, benefits, job security, including the issuance of Personal Protective Equipment and Occupational Health and Safety protocols inside factories.  The use of DO 18-A became the norm for most companies now to employ Labor Only Contracting (LOC) through various sub-contracting agencies. “When sub-contractual labor was allowed, DoLE pronounced a death sentence for the Filipino workforce,” Polido said.

The workers trooped to DoLE in Intramuros and Mendiola today in solidarity with the call for justice for the Kentex tragedy. They burned a huge image of Baldoz and Tan symbolizing the two scourges of the Tanduay workers who are on strike since May 18 (10th day today). The groups also held a protest action in front of the Tanduay Business Center in Ayala Ave, Makati City.

Anse Are, President of TUDLA said that PPEs in Tanduay still have to be bought from the company at the expense of an already meager wage of P315. The agencies of Global Skills Providers Multi-purpose Cooperative and HD Manpower Service Cooperative also deduct absurd fees from the workers during pay day such as a “death fund” of P50 (even if they haven’t had a co-worker who died) and practice delayed release of wages.

Are condemned the continuous attempts of Lucio Tan’s army of hired goons dressed as security guards to disperse their picket line in front of the Asia Brewery Compound in Cabuyao. To date, 50 workers and supporters have various cases of injuries due to constant violence from the goons such as stones and glass bottles being thrown at them and water cannon fired at them by the company fire truck. One worker had a fractured foot when a stone thrown by the hired goons hit him.

“Our call is simple, regularize all 397 contractual workers since we have served Tan for years and yet why do we still remain poor while he rakes net sales of P10 billion to P12 billion for the previous two years?” Are added. He urged his fellow contractual workers, who also comprise 90% of the workers in the factories inside the Asia Brewery Compound, to join their strike to strengthen the call for regularization.

In connection, Ariel Velasquez, Chairperson of the Liga ng mga Manggagawa Para sa Regular na Hanapbuhay said that LOC which is illegal under the Labor Code, is practiced by majority of the companies inside industrial zones in CALABARZON. “Yet Sec. Baldoz does nothing to resolve this. Will she wait for another tragedy like Kentex before she acts like she is genuinely for the interest of the workers?” Velasquez said. In Laguna alone, 70%-90% of the companies are contractual much like Tanduay Distillers Inc. – Manila Cordage Company, Karzai Corp. and Sagara Metroplastics Industrial Corp. are also dominated by contractual workers. The said three companies who have workers who are organizing their ranks have received various forms of threats from the management even if the right to organize and unionize is enshrined by the Philippine Constitution. #

 “DepEd & CHED’s approval for tuition hike means Lucio Tan to rake more profit!” –Tanduay workers

10987615_653082051489225_2155525481941343215_n

Workers from Southern Tagalog decried the Department of Education’s (DepEd) approval to raise the tuition and other fees of more than 1,200 private elementary and high schools, saying this, coupled with the implementation of the K to 12 program, “will only promote contractualization of the labor force” and will “further give Lucio Tan and such businessmen profits”.

DepEd’s approval was made just several days after the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) approved tuition hike in 313 private higher education institutions.

Anse Are, president of the Tanggulang Ugnayan Daluyang Lakas ng Anakpawis sa Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TUDLA), expressed their discontent with the lack of concern by the DepEd officials on the lives of workers who are breadwinners for their families. “We are parents who everyday toil with sweat and blood and yet the government only makes things more difficult for us. With a measly wage of P315, no benefits, and no job security, how can we have the sufficient fund to send our children to school? Even if we work overtime, it is still not enough,” he said.

Are stressed that Lucio Tan, who is the 2nd richest Filipino to date according to Forbes Magazine, also owns the University of the East and its network of schools.

“This clearly shows how the government serves the interest of capitalists like Tan while turning a blind eye to their widespread exploitation of Filipino workers,” Are said. He cited their ongoing strike (in its 9th day today) at Tanduay Distillers Inc. in Cabuyao, Laguna where 397 decade-long workers are still contractual.

Almost every day, Lucio Tan’s answer to the workers’ just demands is violence from security guards and hired goons attempting to disperse their picket line.

Meanwhile, Ariel Velasquez, Chairperson of the Liga ng mga Manggagawa Para sa Regular na Hanapbuhay  (LIGA) slammed DepEd’s implementation of the K to 12 program saying that additional two years of education combined with shortages of at least 209,539 classrooms and 114,304 teachers further burdens the already dismal condition of workers.

“Vocational courses in senior high school are obviously geared for the youth to become contractual workers. We have already received reports from industrial zones in Cavite wherein pseudo-tertiary institutions in connivance with the Technical Education and Skills Development employ students in the guise of On-the-Job Trainees. We fear this scheme will also be implemented to high school students,” Velasquez said adding that instead of learning to become professionals, these OJTs are already exposed as workers involved with production –no different from contractual and regular workers.

“The educational system only serves to proliferate contractualization, again to the benefit of the richest few company owners like Lucio Tan,” Velasquez said.  #

Tanduay workers urged Rep. Nograles: “Investigate Lucio Tan’s contractualization scheme”

11130120_775102569254760_427310776743524057_n

CABUYAO, LAGUNA – Tanduay workers on the 8th day of ongoing strike urged Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles, chairman of the House committee on Labor, to “investigate Lucio Tan’s Labor Only Contracting (LOC) scheme”.

This is in lieu of the solon’s statement yesterday to review the country’s Labor Code after the deaths of 72 Kentex factory workers due to a fire in Valenzuela City.

Anse Are, president of the Tanggulang Ugnayan Daluyang Lakas ng Anakpawis sa Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TUDLA) stressed that if the congressman is “genuine with his intentions to place top priority on the situation of Filipino workers”, he must look into the case of Tanduay Distillers Inc., wherein 397 or 90% of the workers remain contractual even after 5 to 11 years of employment.

Are said that just like the Kentex workers, they are subcontracted by agencies: Global Skills Providers Multi-Purpose Cooperative and HD Manpower Service Cooperative which is known of having links to Cabuyao City Mayor Jun Hemedes Jr. The Department of Labor and Employment has already conducted an inspection regarding TUDLA’s complaint on LOC last April 28, but the two inspectors who investigated submitted misleading reports to cover-up Lucio Tan’s illegal labor practices.

“We challenge Nograles and other lawmakers to prove that they are not only riding on the media popularity of Kentex workers, but are prepared to make concrete actions that can resolve our labor dispute in favor to the workers – especially since Lucio Tan owns businesses throughout the country,” Are said.

He added that the issue on contractualization is a “national concern”, and that all companies employing LOC should immediately be investigated.

For eight days, the Tanduay workers have been on strike and have maintained a picket line in front of Gate 2 of the Asia Brewery Compound where thousands of workers are employed on a contractual basis. Instead of giving in to their demands, security guards and hired goons of Lucio Tan attempted to disperse the picket line numerous times.

Just last Satuday, May 23, when organizations from the National Capital Region integrated with the workers, two waves of violence erupted involving no less than 200 goons who beat the workers with truncheons, threw stones, human excrement and glass bottles at them as well as using a water cannon. Since day one, 50 workers and supporters have already been injured with no aid whatsoever from the local Philippine National Police witnessing the incidents.  #

Now week-long strike follows historical tradition of La Tondeña & Coke

20150522_141939At its first week, the workers of a distillery plant in Cabuyao, Laguna have declared their strike a “historical one”, saying it was inspired by previous strikes of countractual workers and should inspire many more to do so.

According to them, the strike of contractual workers in Tanduay Distillers, Inc. followed the tradition of the the strike in La Tondeña in 1975 and the Coca-Cola contractuals’ strike last 2013.

“For seven days, we experienced a whirlwind of emotions: ecstatic because of the widespread support we now enjoy nationwide, agitated with the principles that bind us, and indignant of the capitalist Lucio Tan’s spreading of violence against us,” said Anse Are, president of Tanggulang Ugnayang Daluyang Lakas ng Anakpawis sa Tanduay Distillers, Inc. (TUDLA).

The La Tondeña strike shattered the silence of the workers during the Martial Law era, as around 800 workers demanded their regularization. It snowballed into a series of strikes within the country. Meanwhile, the Coca-cola strike in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna last 2013 demanded benefits, wage increases and regularization of forklift operators and drivers which they’ve one in just three days after staging the strike.

Are stressed the difference, saying that strikes and workers’ actions often involved unionized and regular workers; while their strike featured contractuals within a labor association.

Meanwhile, he condemned the proliferation of labor cooperatives like HD Manpower Service Cooperative and Global Skills Providers Multi-Purpose Cooperative that hired through Labor-Only Contracting (LOC), which was one of the primary reasons why the distillery management has not yet given into their demands.

The last hearings at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) had the management reason out that they were only employees of the cooperative and not of the company, which was dismissed by the arbiter.

With the example set by TUDLA, Are then urged contractual workers to unite to defend their rights for better working conditions. He even added that those who concocted such repressive labor conditions will inevitably witness these events.

“This is a phenomena borne by massive repression to the workers of the whole nation. As we have started the flame of dissent against this, we have witnessed the massive support and morale boost that it gave to the workers,” he said.

“We now urge all workers to build their unions and organizations, and dare to struggle for a better future that only we can provide,” ended Are. #

Tanduay workers mark 1 week on strike, vow to intensify struggle for regularization

IMG_5553

CABUYAO, LAGUNA – After one week of unrelenting violence from Lucio Tan’s security groups and hired goons, the Tanduay workers on strike vowed to intesify their struggle for the regularization of 397 contractuals saying that Lucio Tan “can never defeat the united strength of the workers and the people”.

Anse Are, president of Tanggulan Ugnayan Daluyang Lakas ng Anakpawis sa Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TUDLA) condemned the new wave of repression from the Tanduay management when yesterday, March 24, two consecutive incidents caused injury of 20 workers and supporters.

Security forces and goons violently dispersed a separate protest of TUDLA who were joined by around 100 supporters from the National Capital Region (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, ACT Teachers Partylist, All UP Workers’ Union, Anakbayan, Anakpawis Partylist among others). At around 4:30PM, 200 security forces and goons mercilessly beat the protesters and threw rocks at them which even shattered a jeepney windshield. When the protesters returned to the picket line at Gate 2 at 5:30PM, the protesters were again bombarded with firetruck water, human excrement, and stones.

“Lucio Tan obviously has all the power and money to hire a whole army to protect his interest. Instead of giving in to the demands of workers who created his wealth, he tramples on our right to organization and freedom to express our grievances. We are not afraid and we vow to fortify our ranks in the coming days,” Are stressed.

Meanwhile, the workers express their gratitude to the people’s organizations which travelled across provinces just to give solidarity to the workers as well as the nearby communities of Laguna who sympathize with their struggle.  One vendor, for example, gave several watermelons today to show support to the exhausted and hungry workers.

Also, at around 1:30PM today, workers from Sagara Metro Plastic Industrial Corporation conducted a solidarity program at the picket line. According to Ariel Velasquez, a worker of Sagara and chairperson of the Liga ng Mga Manggagawa Para sa Regular na Hanapbuhay, contractual workers from all over the country should unite to put an end to the exploitative conditions of companies.

“We see ourselves with the struggle of Tanduay workers, since their issue is no different from ours. The Aquino government’s policies on contractualization kills Filipinos and the only way to have a decent life is to fight for our rights,” Velasquez said.

Sagara’s workers were supposedly set for Certification Elections (CE) last April 8. But the Department of Labor and Employment unjustly cancelled their CE because of a memorandum issued by Malacañang (Presidential Decree 20-2011).

The workers continue to urge the local government of Cabuyao headed by Mayor Jun Hemedes and Vice-Mayor Atty. Mel Gecolea as well as the local Philippine National Police to stand with the workers in holding Lucio Tan accountable for his crimes. #

PRESS RELEASE: Recent NCMB hearing result, new round of labor repression verify correctness of strike; urges more ‘contractual’ workers to do the same

IMG_20150522_085936PRESS RELEASE
MAY 23, 2015

Recent NCMB hearing result, new round of labor repression verify correctness of strike; urges more ‘contractual’ workers to do the same      

REFERENCE PERSON

Ariel Velasquez
Chairperson
Liga ng Manggagawa para sa Regular na Hanapbuhay (LIGA)

The events in the past two days gave all the more reasons for the workers of Tanduay Distillers, Inc. at Laguna to endure and push forth with the now-six-day-old strike.

Yesterday, regional organizations from different sectors and provinces were present for a multisectoral protest at the picket line. Today,  they are joined by a delegation from the national multisectoral organizations, led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).

Workers’ alliance Liga ng Manggagawa para sa Regular na Hanapbuhay (LIGA) chairperson Ariel Velasquez said that this will be an additional surge of energy for the striking workers.

“Day after day, we have more people coming in the picketline and sharing their support for the workers, knowing their plight; it is such a breath of fresh air compared to the plain violence from the mercenary goons, anti-worker policemen and callous local government,” said Velasquez.

On the other hand, the results of last Friday’s hearing at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) brought more problems than it solved: with the Tanduay management and HD Manpower Service Cooperative presenting its lawyers, only Global Skills Providers Multi-Purpose Cooperative presented its job offering description – and even this was deprived to the workers, as it pulled it out counter to the recommendation of the arbiter.

Firm in their stand, the workers call for the management to be held accountable and face the workers at the board hearing, and push for the regularization of the 397 contractual workers under Tanduay’s company plant in Cabuyao.

Since their strike, more associations and unions for workers deemed by the capitalist as contractuals have been formed and registered to the Department of Labor and Employment, guaranteed by the Constitutional right to organization.

These unions were formed in Manco Synthetic, Manila Cordage, Inc., Karzai, and just recently, in Asia Brewery Inc., where their neighbor, Tanduay Distillers, Inc., has its workers striking.

Velasquez heads the alliance of such formations here.

“There is no question that the workers’ unity is spreading throughout factories in the region, as contractualization policies continue to spread in here,” added Velasquez.

Velasquez ended that such is the serious matter of contractualization, that is fought against by the workers, that it is not only an isolated case, but a national issue.

“It is undeniable that the nation now employs contractual, and not regular workers. It is then imperative for the people to show their unity. In the continuing call for justice for the slain Kentex workers, those who live in such conditions now unite to fight the common enemy that is the government’s continuing policy of contractualization and cheap labor in the nation,” concluded Velasquez. ###

Tanduay mgt still defiant in its ‘observer’ status as workers’ unions surge support for the strike

WP_003361

The Tanduay management remains indifferent to the calls of its workers for regularization while more unions from various factories in Southern Tagalog express support for the strike.

As of yesterday, a second hearing was conducted at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board attended by representatives from Tanggulang Ugnayang Daluyang Lakas ng Anakpawis sa Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TUDLA), Tanduay management, the provincial and regional officers of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and the two agencies of Global Skills Providers Multi-purpose Cooperative and HD Manpower Service Cooperative. The Tanduay management, lead by plant manager Richard Teng, remain deaf to the pleas of the workers saying that they are only present in the hearing as an “observer” to the complaints which should only be addressed to the two agencies.

TUDLA and PAMANTIK-KMU however, reiterated that it is the sole accountabily of the Tanduay management – and not the two agencies – why the company is employing Labor Only Contracting (LOC), a practice which is deemed illegal under the Labor Code. The DoLE regional office requested copies of job descriptions from the agencies to be brought to the next hearing on May 22, which is a favorable move for the workers since it will be exposed that the workers are indeed involved with production-related work – a solid grounding for their call for regularization.

As the fourth day of the Tanduay workers’ strike sets in, various labor unions led by regional labor center Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU) showed their support for the workers through different actions. They spearheaded mobile propaganda teams and information drives regarding the Tanduay workers’ plight. In a workers’ solidarity night yesterday, they also expressed statements of support to the Tanduay workers, which they said will be an inspiration in their further struggles as a whole.

“The issues Tanduay workers face are not exactly different from other factories in the country: massive contractualization, union-busting, low wages and repression are norms inside our labor force that have to be changed,” said Roque Polido, chairperson of PAMANTIK-KMU.

The TUDLA, which led the workers’ strike, expressed their gratitude to the workers’ support and hope for the victory of regularization for the 397 contractual workers. “It is true that our strike will not go on if not for our unity, and the support that other workers’ unions and other sectors give which has dictated our strength since day one,” said Anse Are, president of TUDLA.

Meanwhile, at least three buses full of scabs were seen entering the compound of the Asia Brewery through the Eton City-South Luzon Expressway route. Partial production inside the factory has reportedly resumed.

More protest actions and solidarity events are to follow in the next days. ###