On strike’s 1st month: Tanduay workers pledge to end contractual employment

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CABUYAO, LAGUNA – Contractual workers from the Tanduay Distillers, Inc. pledged to end contractual employment after one month on strike. Gathering support from various sectors and workers’ unions within and outside the region, the workers held a program in front of the factory’s gate to celebrate their union’s unwavering stance against unfair labor practices and anti-worker policies in the country.

Workers under the Tanggulang Ugnayan Daluyang Lakas ng Anakpawis sa Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TUDLA) held a program in front of the factory’s gates in celebration of their unified stance against contractual employment today, as their strike reaches one month since its declaration on May 18.

Despite continuous harassment from Lucio Tan’s hired goons and the beverage giant’s unyielding position towards the workers’ demands, particularly the latter’s regularization, TUDLA remains resolute in their calls.

“To win this fight is a huge victory for all workers in the country, because this is a fight against widespread contractualization and the employment of labor-only contracting, which is a common practice in all workplaces here and abroad. Contractual employment through agencies and cooperatives, to the point of violating labor laws, has become very popular amongst profit-hungry capitalists who wish to cut down on expenses via further lowering labor costs.” Anse Are, TUDLA president said.

“We are practicing our constitutionally-guaranteed right to demand for our long overdue regularization. This is why we continue to stand amidst the physical, emotional, and financial difficulties that we encounter every day since commencing this strike. After all, we have been through worse in our 5-11 years of being in service to Tanduay in exchange of very low wages,” he added.

The majority of workers under the (TUDLA) have been contractual workers in Tanduay through the HD Manpower Service Cooperative and the GlobalPro Workers Cooperative for 5 to 11 years before being illegally dismissed on May 16. As stated in Article 280 of the Philippine Labor Code, they are considered regular employees of Tanduay Distillers, Inc. due to the nature of their employment. The Department of Labor and Employment-Bureau of Labor Relations has recently released the results of their investigation on this matter, upholding the previous claims of TUDLA that Tanduay, in collaboration with the said cooperatives, has been violating the Labor Code all along.

“Contractual employment and other labor flexibilization schemes are slowly killing workers all around the world. Obviously, they are trying to withraw the victories of workers who sacrificed their lives more than a hundred years ago. It is just and right for workers to exhaust all possible ways to defend our rights today, even if it means sacrificing our own lives—to make sure our children, who will be workers in the future, are spared from such inhumane, and greedy practices that capitalists, like Lucio Tan, are implementing.” Ariel Velasque, Chairperson of Liga ng Manggagawa Para sa Regular na Hanapbuhay.

The workers burned uniforms from the Global Pro and HD cooperatives as a symbol of their commitment to their fight. #

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