CABUYAO, LAGUNA – We condemn in the strongest possible terms the continuing human rights violations to the workers of Tanduay Distillers Inc. on strike due to the violence and harassment committed by the security group and hired goons of Lucio Tan.
Several incidents have already occurred since yesterday, May 18, when Tanduay workers, led by the Tanggulang Uganayan Daluyang Lakas ng Anakpawis sa Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TUDLA), launched their strike. The 397 contractual workers (comprising 90% of the total workforce) demand regularization and better working conditions.
As of 12:00NN of May 19, 2015, 50 individuals already have injuries ranging from bruises to cuts caused by security guards and hired goons that beat the workers with truncheons. The said security agents also threw rocks and glass bottles at the picket line simultaneous with surges of water cannon from within the compound’s firetruck. A DSLR camera was illegally confiscated by a security agent when the secondary picket line was dispersed this morning. As of press time, the said camera has not been returned. The local police and local government unit of Cabuyao also turn a blind eye to these incidents even if they are just meters away from the picket line.
This is but a desperate move from Lucio Tan and the Tanduay management. Instead of hearing the just plea of the workers, they treat them inhumanely with violence, provoking anger and insulting them like they were not the same workers who honestly labored inside the factory for years.
We firmly believe that the call of the Tanduay workers for regularization is not a difficult thing to do for the Tanduay management. With the numbers from the net sales of Tanduay products in 2012 and 2013 reach P12 billion and P10 billion respectively – is it wrong for workers to demand a fair share as reward for their hard-earned labor? Does Lucio Tan, a renowned business tycoon of several industries, really wish for workers to be mired in poverty while he continues to live luxuriously and oblivious to the people who made his wealth possible?
The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has been deaf to TUDLA’s petition for regularization. Last April 28, two inspectors of DoLE Laguna Provincial Office justified that the two agencies (Global Skills Providers Multi-purpose Cooperative at ang at HD Manpower Service Cooperative) practicing Labor Only Contracting (LOC) were “legal”. Instead of reporting the truth on Tanduay’s involvement with LOC, the two inspectors only focused on “labor standards” and only gave recommendations to the agencies. Now, DoLE is even twisting the facts, saying that the workers have a high chance for regularization “if only they did not stage a strike” because they have, surprisingly, discovered that the 2 agencies had “expired contracts”.
In a dialogue yesterday with the National Conciliation Mediation Board attended by representatives from Tanduay, the 2 agencies and PAMANTIK-KMU – Richard Teng, plant manager of Tanduay stressed that he was only an “observer” of the labor dispute, when in fact, the Tanduay management is solely responsible for employing LOCs.
DoLE should stop with the lies and urge Lucio Tan and the Tanduay management to concede with the workers’ demands for regularization. We remain firm with our call: the Tanduay management must regularize all 397 contractual workers and respect the rights of the workers for job security, decent wages and benefits! #