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. ###