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

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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. #

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