PRESS STATEMENT (Nov. 20, 2015): Illegally terminated Karzai workers violently dispersed yesterday, hold regional indignation rally today

 

 

Cabuyao City, Laguna – Karzai Corp. striking workers were violently dispersed with water cannon, rocks and bottles yesterday after they officially declared they are on strike.

 

Members of the Ilaw, Gabay at Pag-asa ng Manggagawa sa Karzai – Organized Labor Association in Line Industries and Agriculture – Kilusang Mayo Uno (IGPAK-OLALIA-KMU) were illegally terminated November 13 while the regular workers and other agency hired/contractual workers remain working at the company.

 

“We see this as a systematic effort of Karzai Corp. to break and weaken our union. Our union genuinely represents the workers and militantly fights for our rights to just wages and benefits. However, the company is collaborating with the yellow workers federation National Workers Brotherhood (NWB) to divide the workers,” said IGPAK President Jonathan Bulusan.

 

The workers formed IGPAK to have a union that will genuinely fight for their regularization. They saw the need to have an organization that will advance their democratic rights after a series of suspensions until early this year. During the process of working on the union’s Certification Election (CE), the NWB that only has a chapter at the Calamba plant suddenly had a chapter in the Cabuyao plant and is going to participate in the supposed CE.

 

“Many of us have worked for the company for up to four years already. We have a constitutionally guaranteed right to be regular workers. But after we were able to register our union at the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), the management has been trying to bribe the members and non-members with “financial assistance” in exchange of their resignation,” Bulusan added.

 

Bong Perez, Cabuyao plant manager, has been communicating with the workers to convince them to receive the financial assistance. IGPAK-OLALIA-KMU clearly sees this blatant union busting because resignation of the workers, union members or not, will result to their eventual disintegration.

 

The NWB has put up their picket line in front of Karzai’s entrance second week of October. The “members” are calling to stop forced leave and company closure.

 

“Based on our sources, the company pays non-workers on a daily basis to maintain the NWB picket. They are people from the nearby communities who are paid to bring confusion and meddle with the labor dispute that should only be between the workers and the company,” Bulusan stated.

 

“NWB members always intervene whenever we try to block company trucks that might possibly be carrying machines or equipment such as mold press. When there’s labor dispute, this is called runaway shop and is an illegal activity,” Bulusan further stated.

 

Despite the many issues and problems the Karzai workers are facing, IGPAK members vow to continue the fight for regular employment.

 

“We were illegally terminated. Before and after our termination, we’ve been continuously fighting for our legitimate and just calls. We may feel physical and emotional exhaustion at times but we remain united and determined to fight for our regularization and contribute to the nationwide fight to put an end to contractualization,” Bulusan ended. ###

 

After Tanduay Distillers, another company in Cabuyao illegally terminates workers; terminated workers join anti-APEC protest

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Cabuyao City, Laguna – Workers at Karzai Corporation, located at Brgy. Sala, Cabuyao City, Laguna, have been on picket since November 12 when they were not allowed entry to the company premises to work.

Ilaw, Gabay at Pag-asa ng Manggagawa sa Karzai (IGPAK), a DoLE registered and recognized union, decided to build their picket line because the company apparently is not serious about the regularization of its workers.

“After a series of suspensions, we formed our union so we can have an organization that will protect and fight for our rights. We were able to register it successfully and, through continuous negotiations with the management, have been gaining small victories for the workers. Recently, however, the company has issued another series of suspensions and now, members or our union are not allowed to enter the gate to work,” said IGPAK President Jonathan Bulusan.

At around 1:00AM of November 13, 30 workers, also union members, were instructed to go home because one transformer exploded. They were all given allowance for transportation. By 7:00AM, the security guard, Arnel Catalan, apprehended the morning shift workers who are about to enter the gate and were told that there is no work schedule. However, there were several irregularities that the workers noticed.

“We noticed that only members of the union were not allowed to work while regular and agency hired workers were admitted at the gate. There are also additional security guards and there are now two Officers-In-Charge, both armed with shotguns. The gates and walls look like a garrison now, because of the installed barrier and excavation in front of the gate and ready firefighter hoses,” Bulusan stated.

There was also reinforcement – all of them capable of work – at the National Workers Brotherhood’s (NWB) picket line. The reinforcements were promised to replace the unionized workers. NWB has been known to the workers to be a company union that tries to divide the unity of the workers.

Since the registration of the union and amidst continuous negotiations, the management, through its HR Department, has also been continuously trying to bribe the organized workers. Bong Perez, the plant manager, has been trying to offer unionized workers ‘financial assistance’ in exchange of their resignation. At around 9:30AM, Perez called Bulusan informing them that the company sought the service of Meralco to inspect the transformers and that he will provide a report of the investigation later in the day. By 11:00AM, Perez called again and declared that their contract will be ended to prevent the possible occurrence of incidents similar to transformer explosion.

Around 4:00PM, Liezel Divera, accompanied by Arnel Catalan and one other Security OIC, stepped out of the gate to ask Bulusan and other IGPAK members to receive the memorandum regarding their temporary termination, which involves 35 workers.

“What has been happening is clearly a syndicated efforts of the management and the yellow union to break the genuine, militant and pro-worker union. Like what happened in Tanduay, there are decisions that favor the workers based on the Labor Code and Philippine Constitution sections that uphold our rights. In our fight for our right to regular employment, the Karzai Corporation is apparently hell-bent on getting rid of our union so they won’t be pressured to regularize workers,” Bulusan further stated.

The IGPAK members and supporters have been on picket for four days now. They are gearing for the conduct of an official strike to strongly send their message that they won’t give in to the unjust moves and unfair practices of the management.

“We will continue to fight for our regular employment. We see and understand how contractualization destroy’s people’s lives and how it makes every worker’s life degraded and inhumane. We are preparing for a series of propaganda and protest actions before the official declaration of strike. We are calling on workers from other companies to support our fight for regularization and fight against the pro-capitalist and anti-worker contractualization scheme,” Bulusan ended.

The workers are also joining the massive anti-APEC protest because they learned that APEC dictates neo-liberal policies such as contractualization. ###

PAHAYAG: Magkapit-bisig laban sa APEC at dayuhang imperyalistang pandarambong! Ipaglaban ang tunay na kalayaan at kaunlaran!

Sa ika-18 at 19 ng Nobyembre, magaganap ang ikalawang pagkakataon na magpupulong sa bansa ang mga lider ng iba’t ibang mga bansa at mga pinuno ng mga malalaking korporasyon sa Economic Leaders’ Meeting (ELM) sa loob ng Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Dito pagpupulungan at pag-uusapan, sa gabay ng malalaking kapitalista at mga pinuno ng mga imperyalistang bansa, ang mga susunod na polisiyang tatahakin ng mga ekonomiya sa rehiyon, kasama na ang Pilipinas.

Muling magiging sentro ng atensyon ang ating bansa: sentro ng pagpaplano ng mga imperyalistang bansa tulad ng Estados Unidos at Tsina upang malubos at mapasakamay ang lalo pang maluluwag na daloy ng hilaw na materyales, magtapon ng labis na produkto; at para sa atin, ang lalo pang pagkalubog ng ating ekonomiya at pagsirit ng presyo ng bilihin at serbisyo.

Sa pamamagitan ng rehimeng US-Aquino, tumatagos sa atin ang papatinding kahirapan at pagdarahop na idinudulot ng APEC at ng globalisasyon.

APECtado tayong lahat – sa mga matitindi at makadayuhang polisiyang siguradong magdadala sa atin sa mas malalim pang kahirapan!

APEC at ang paglubog ng Pilipinas sa krisis

BinuAPEC Polyeto for print-1buo ng 21 bansa ang APEC – na isang porum o kalipunan ng mga ekonomiya na sumasaklaw sa 21 bansa sa loob at labas ng rehiyong Asya-Pasipiko. Ibig sabihin, nilalaman ng APEC ang halos kalahati ng ekonomiya ng buong mundo: kasama ang China, US at Japan.

Mula pa lamang sa simula, nilayon nitong magtipon ang mga ekonomiya sa buong rehiyon upang magpanukala at magpatupad ng mga polisiyang magpapaluwag ng kalakalan at daloy ng produkto at serbisyo sa kani-kanilang mga bansa. Aniya, ito raw ang solusyon upang umunlad ang kanilang mga ekonomiya.

Ngunit, taliwas sa mga layunin nitong pag-unlad sa ekonomiya ng mga kasaping bansa nito ang nangyari sa loob ng halos tatlong dekadang pag-iral ng APEC. Lubhang bumaba ang taripa o buwis na ipinapataw sa mga dayuhang produkto at lalo namang bumaha ang mga yaring produkto ng dayuhan sa ating bansa – na pumapatay sa mga pagsisikap nating makapagtayo ng nagsasariling ekonomiya at pumapatay sa ating mga empresa!

Ibig sabihin, nasasangkalan na ang ating pag-unlad para sa pagkakamal ng pinapalaking tubo ng mga kapitalista mula sa ibang bansa. Bukod dito, lalo lamang tayong nagiging palaasa sa dayuhang kapital bilang pambawi sa kawalan natin ng kakayahan na makapaglikha ng buo-buong mga produkto.

Itinutulak ang pribatisasyon ng mga serbisyong publiko sa ngalan ng pilit na pagbabalik ng lipas nang panahon ng malayang kompetisyon sa ekonomiya. Kaya nagmamahal na naman ang presyo ng mga pampublikong serbisyo tulad ng transportasyon, edukasyon at iba pa – na dala rin ng malalaking mga kumpanya sa loob at labas ng bansa.

Bakit nga ba tila para sa mga malalaking korporasyon at bansa napupunta ang pakinabang sa mga napapag-usapang polisiya sa APEC? Kasama rin ang malalaking korporasyon na ito sa mga pulong! Bukod pa, sila na rin ang nagbibigay ng mga rekomendasyon sa mga bansa kung paano magiging mas maaliwalas ang kapaligiran para magnegosyo sa kanila.

APEC sa Pilipinas: Delubyo sa ekonomiya at manggagawa

Hindi na bago sa bansa ang mga pulong ng APEC. Nang idaos ang unang APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting sa Pilipinas noong 1996, pareho pa rin ang istorya – ngunit ngayon, lalo lamang napasakamay ng mga malalaking kapitalista at mga dayuhan ang inaasam nitong malalaking mga tubo.

Ngunit, hindi lang kalakalan ang nais paluwagin ng mga polisiyang natutupad sa mga pulong ng APEC, pati ang ating mga likas-yaman! Sa mga panukalang ibalik ang pagpasok ng dayuhang korporasyon at bangko sa bansa, lalo lamang ding nabubuksan ang ating bansa sa malawakang pandarambong.

Sa kanayunan, darami na naman ang mga malalaking minahan, palaisdaan at plantasyon – na pagmamay-arian ng mga dayuhan at hindi nating mga mamamayan! Nakikita na natin ito sa Mindanao at sa ating rehiyon, na kaakibat ang malawakang pagkakampo, pananakot at pandarahas mula sa mga militar at paramilitar na nagpoprotekta sa mga interes ng mga dayuhang kumpanya.

Hindi pa rin natin nakalilimutan ang karahasan ng mga sundalo ng AFP sa ating mga kapatid na Lumad, na sa pandarambong ng kanilang lupang ninuno ay biktima rin ng APEC!

Sa ating kawalang-kakayahan sa industriyal na produksyon, hindi na tayo nakakalikha ng buo-buong produkto, na kailangan pa nating iangkat mula sa ibang bansa! Ang nakakayanan lang natin, sa dikta ng APEC, ay lumikha ng mumurahing mga kagamitan o components, na nakapagbibigay ng mababang pasahod at halagang naidaragdag.

Tatlong dekada ng APEC: Tatlong dekada ng ibayong pagdurusa ng manggagawa at mamamayang Pilipino

APEC Polyeto for print-2Sa pag-iral ng APEC, lubos na nabibiktima ang manggagawang Pilipino!

Matapos ang halos tatlong dekada ng pamamayagpag ng APEC at ng neoliberal na polisiyang dala nito, sadlak pa rin ang mamamayan sa kahirapan. Magiging open for business pa tayo, sa loob ng Factory Asia, isang adyenda na tatalakayin din sa porum ng APEC.

Sa ngalan ng magandang kapaligiran sa pagnenegosyo, ibinababa sa pinakamababang posible ang mga sahod ng manggagawa. Sa Timog Katagalugan, hindi makatao at hindi nakabubuhay ang P219 hanggang P362.50 na minimum na sahod. Ipinapairal naman ang kontraktwalisasyon para malubos ang malalaking tubo.

Binubuwag ang mga unyon at asosasyong nagtataguyod ng karapatan ng manggagawa. Hindi dinidinig ang ating panawagan para sa makatarungan at nakabubuhay na sahod! Pinababayaan ang kalagayan ng mga manggagawa sa produksyon – na siyang nagdadala sa kanila sa panganib. Hindi natin makakalimutan ang kamatayan ng 72 manggagawa ng Kentex at 11 manggagawa ng Eton dahil sa kawalang-pansin ng kapitalista sa kaligtasan sa paggawa.

Sa mga itinutulak na polisiya ngayon ng APEC tulad ng Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), na kabalangkas ng Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, magmimistula na lang din tayong kalakal na maaaring i-eksport at ibenta nang mura. Lalo pang dadami ang mahigit tatlong libong kababayan nating nakikipagsapalaran sa ibang bansa araw-araw, at dadami rin ang tulad nila Mary Jane Veloso, Flor Contemplacion at iba pang OFW na biktima ng labor export policy at kapabayaan ng gobyerno.

Ito ang katotohanang pilit na itinatago ni BS Aquino sa napakaraming paraan: mula sa pagtatakip ng mga bahay sa tulay, panunuhol sa mga pamilyang nasa kalsada upang magbakasyon sandali sa probinsya, hanggang sa mismong pagpigil sa laksa-laksang mamamayang naghahanda upang kondenahin ang tumitinding kahirapan sa loob ng pamamayagpag ng APEC. Hindi kailanman pumayag ang mamamayang Pilipino sa pagpasok ng mga bisitang nais lamang makinabang at dumambong sa ating mga kayamanan!

Nagkakamali si BS Aquino kung sa kanyang tingin ay sasapat na ang kanyang desperadong tugon sa hinaing ng mamamayan.

Labingsiyam na taon na ang nakalilipas, at lalo lamang tayong natatali sa dayuhang pamumuhunan at kapital. Hindi pa rin natin nararanasan ang mga produkto ng ibinabanderang pag-unlad sa ekonomiya. Itinutulak tayo ng malayang kalakalan na mabuhay sa kahirapan at pagpapakasakit. Hindi tayo papayag na maging kalakal na lamang sa malaking merkado.

Manindigan tayo para sa ating kaunlaran at kalayaan.

Sa paparating na mga linggo, at sa ika-18 at 19 ng Nobyembre, irerehistro at papatunayan natin sa buong mundo, kasama ang mamamayan ng buong daigdig – na hindi tayo magpapasailalim sa lalo pang pandarambong at digmaan sa loob ng imperyalistang globalisasyon.

Southern Tagalog workers slam P10B budget for APEC meet

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“Even if more than 40 meetings were held before the big APEC event on Nov. 18-19, the P10 billion budget allotment is just too extravagant,” said PAMANTIK-KMU Secretary General Allan Bagas.

For the Aquino government that claims it is advancing the welfare of the common people through matuwid na daan , spending billions of pesos on world leaders’ meeting is never an exemplar of a genuinely prop-people governance.

The Southern Tagalog workers, 80-90% of whom are contractuals, have to budget every day an inhumane minimum wage of P219 to P362.50. If the Aquino government would want to sent an example, it would not show the Filipino people that it is pampering a few through lavish spending.

PAMANTIK-KMU also slams the “Building Inclusive Economies, Building a Better World” APEC theme, as it continues to disillusion the people that their lives improve as the economy grows.

Bagas stressed, “Under the Aquino government, there is continuous economic gains which doubled or tripled the capitalists’ profits while more workers become victims of contractualization. Contractual workers, on the other hand, received very cheap wages with no benefits while exposed to systematic unfair labor practices.”

“Workers from the region will join the nationwide protest to expose APEC and its collaboration with the Aquino government to further exploit the people and our natural resources. Our country is rich but tens of millions of people are poor. We don’t need exploitative multi-lateral organizations. We can stand on our own because we have everything we need,” Bagas ended. ###

Aquino paranoid in setting up PH fantasy world for APEC; Will not hamper workers, people to oppose neoliberal globalization

Regional labor center Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan – Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU) condemns the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)’s recently released guidelines for public demonstrations during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting as “an exhibition of paranoia” in attempts to hide the true situation of workers and Filipinos under APEC-advised policies.

Yesterday, the DILG upheld the “no permit, no rally” policy for public rallies during the APEC event, saying that “although our laws ensure the free exercise of the people’s right to peaceably assemble (…) we have to observe proper guidelines including seeking permits to conduct public rallies.”

The BS Aquino government is desperate to hide the true conditions of the people under APEC’s dogma of market-oriented policies and trade liberalization.

Like its prodding of street dwellers to rent housing for the duration of the summit and its threats to disperse the Manilakbayan ng Mindanao camp in Liwasang Bonifacio, it now applies the use of bureaucracy to hamper the droves of people that will take to the streets to slam the APEC-prompted neoliberal policies passed to its members.

The softening up of trade restrictions and protectionist economic policies of member governments have only meant the immersion of the Asia-Pacific peoples in the chasm of further poverty and unemployment – and for the workers of Southern Tagalog, this has meant the maintenance of cheap labor costs. At PHP 315, or almost USD 7, workers are forced in deplorable labor conditions to be able to live another day. More so, seven out of ten workers in the region have been victims of contractual work, depriving them an assurance of a stable livelihood and a good future for their families.

These, and many other APEC-sponsored policies, have been in effect for years – culminating through figures rendering the Philippines having the cheapest raw materials and production factors, and highest unemployment rate in history.

The figures, which have been pointed out by different research institutions, speak for itself, and cannot be concealed by any amount of lies, physical cover-ups, and application of government procedure.

We will assert for our democratic right to peaceably assemble and express grievance, even so the government brings up archaic and Martial Law-type decrees such as Batasang Pambansa 880, where the “no permit, no rally” scheme was brought up.

In delivering the perfect gift for imperialists, BS Aquino, as the main administrator of local government policy, is then no different from Marcos in its attempts to serve as the perfect puppet for these imperialists.

Nonetheless, we remain firm in our stand. The workers of Southern Tagalog, together with all the peoples of the world, will surge forth in disdain, as we will not warrant the entry and rule of foreign domination in the country, and these will be registered thoroughly in the following days. ###