At least 60 fully-armed security guards tried to seize control of a factory complex from workers on strike yesterday afternoon, injuring one worker from a hurled rock.
This happened more than four months after the workers of Manila Cordage Company (MCC) and Manco Synthetic Inc. (MSI) locked up the factory premises and commenced their strike.
By 2 in the afternoon, the security guards stormed the Carmelray Industrial Park I (CIP I) in Calamba, Laguna. The guards, suspected to be in the payroll of the owners of MCC and MSI, came from Longinus Security Agency, Rapid Security Agency and Papsi Security Agency.
As the guards arrived at the factory gates, they trained their guns and threw rocks at the workers. Porpirio Milaya, one of the workers inside the factory, was hit by a stone in the right side of his head, wounding his lip.
Meanwhile, the workers stood their ground and called for support from fellow workers from other factories. Talks were then opened with the Organized Labor Association in Line Industries and Agriculture-Kilusang Mayo Uno (OLALIA-KMU), the federation of MCC and MSI workers; the National Conciliation and Mediation Board of the Department of Labor and Employment (NCMB-DOLE), CIP I management, PNP, and the chief of the security agency hired by MCC-MSI.
The chief, who did not identify himself, refused to sign the agreement removing them from the industrial park, since there was no order to disperse from the labor department. By nightfall, the guards left the industrial park grounds, as the workers’ vigil stood at the park gates; expecting another return from the hired hands.
The militant regional labor center Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-KMU (Pamantik-KMU) condemned these desperate efforts by the capitalists of MCC and MSI.
“By using proxies such as fully-armed goons and security guards, the capitalists send a message: they will give nothing to the workers. The workers, however, have remained united in their worthy cause. Contractualization remains the menace for many workers in the country,” said Allan Bagas, secretary-general of PAMANTIK.
Meanwhile, MCC and MSI management has seldom showed up for conciliation meetings mediated by the labor department. Another hearing has been set at September 21 by the NCMB.
The workers are currently denied access to food and support by industrial park security, prompting the former to call for more help to workers and supporters. # # #