CABUYAO, LAGUNA – “The regularization of Tanduay workers still only exists on paper.”
Anse Are, President of Tanggulang Ugnayan Daluyang Lakas ng Anakpawis sa Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TUDLA), stressed these words as more than a week after, the Tanduay management has not yet implemented the regularization of the contractual workers – as directed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) Region IV-A through an Order released last June 22.
Are also declared that the strike, on its 45th day today, will continue to be staged for as long as the demands of the workers are not met – which is regularization not only of the 103 as stated in the Order, but all 397 of the contractual workers.
Though TUDLA welcomes the decision of DoLE Region IV-A, Are said that there are two-sides that have to be considered. “On one hand, DoLE’s declaration is a concrete victory brought by the collective action of workers and other sectors who supported the strike. Not only is it a historical feat, but an inspiration for all contractuals to persevere in organizing their ranks and fight against contractualization,” Are said.
“On the other hand, DoLE’s order is also divisive, expecting us to give up the fight once only 103 or 26% of us are regularized when we clearly stand for all of our fellow contractual workers,” he stressed. Are also feared that Tanduay management will ignore this Order all throughout, as witnessed during the labor disputes of other Lucio Tan group of companies – such as the Philippine Airlines (PAL) employees’ strike on 2011. The PAL strike was smeared with reversal of decisions by the Supreme Court which ultimately led to the termination of 2,600 employees.
“The fight is far from being over, and Lucio Tan as a notorious capitalist will definitely appeal to other government offices to take away our hard-earned legal victory. We will continue to stage our strike and call for the people’s support in defending our picket line and boycotting all Tanduay products,” he said.
Ariel Velasquez, Chairperson of the Liga ng mga Manggagawa Para sa Regular na Hanapbuhay (LIGA), stressed the need to intensify the campaign in ensuring that the Tanduay workers are regularized. “Only through the people’s unwavering support can we pressure both government agencies and private companies to respect and uphold the rights of the working class,” he said. ###