We have witnessed again today the sheer brutality of the capitalist system to its workers – of business tycoon Lucio Tan’s merciless violence to the Filipino people; who offered years of hard work and labor that paved way for him to be one of the few richest in the world.
On the 17th day of the strike led by the Tanggulang Ugnayan Daluyang Lakas ng Anakpawis sa Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TUDLA), around 300 workers and supporters were ruthlessly dispersed by more than 200 security guards and hired goons of Lucio Tan. The protesters marched from Gate 1 of the Asia Brewery Compound at Cabuyao, Laguna and headed to Gate 3 for an indignation program.
At 5:30PM, the workers decided to carry out an organized dispersal to continue their program at the picket line in front of Gate 2. However, as they were marching back, security personnel and hired goons chased and unleashed violence upon the workers – beating them with metal pipes, throwing stones and bottles. As of press time, around 30 workers and supporters were injured including two others who are seriously injured and were abducted by the security forces: Christopher Oliquino, Vice-Chairperson of PAMANTIK-KMU, Erwin Luicito of Lakas ng Manggagawang Nagkakaisa sa Honda Cars Philippines. Three motorcycles were also dilapidated by the said goons.
This is not the first time that Lucio Tan’s own “private army” resorted to this; for throughout the duration of the strike, 50 workers and supporters were already injured due to similar incidents of aggression. The Department of Labor and Employment of Region IV-A has released results of Tanduay management’s violations to the Labor Code of employing Labor Only Contracting. But still, why is violence Lucio Tan’s sole answer to the just call of the workers aspiring to get a share of their hard-earned labor?
Tanduay workers have been on strike since May 18. They are workers who served tirelessly for Lucio Tan, hoping to improve the future of their families someday. And yet, since 5 to 11 years under the distillery, they still remain in contractual status, with a minimum wage of P315 per day (less than $5), no benefits, and no job security. Who wouldn’t be enraged with this kind of situation when Tanduay Distillers Inc. creates a conservative estimate of P15 million worth of products per day? Who wouldn’t want a fair share when net sales amassed P10 billion to P12 billion in the previous two years?
The 397 workers of Tanduay who comprise 90% of the total workforce only wish for one thing – regularization, which translates to better and rightful wages and benefits. Why is it easier for Lucio Tan to hire hundreds of goons instead of conceding to the workers’ demands? He is then truly blinded by the nature of profit.
In a country where labor rights are blatantly violated by private companies, and the government’s labor departments are more often than not in favor of these big business owners – the workers have no other choice but to collectively struggle for economic justice and ask for the solidarity of the people.
WE THEREFORE CALL ON ALL FILIPINO PEOPLE AND PEOPLE’S AROUND THE WORLD TO BOYCOTT TANDUAY PRODUCTS!
Tell your friends, families, colleagues and everyone who buys Tanduay products to show their support for our just strike. Through boycotting Tanduay products, we can cripple Lucio Tan’s unyielding stance and together bring victory for the Tanduay workers’ demand for regularization!
BOYCOTT ALL TANDUAY PRODUCTS!
REGULARIZE THE 397 CONTRACTUAL WORKERS OF TANDUAY!