The events in the past two days gave all the more reasons for the workers of a distillery plant at Laguna to endure and push forth with the now-six-day-old strike.
Yesterday, regional organizations from different sectors and provinces were present for a multisectoral protest at the picket line. Today, they are joined by a delegation from the national multisectoral organizations, led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).
Workers’ alliance Liga ng Manggagawa para sa Regular na Hanapbuhay (LIGA) chairperson Ariel Velasquez said that this will be an additional surge of energy for the striking workers.
“Day after day, we have more people coming in the picketline and sharing their support for the workers, knowing their plight; it is such a breath of fresh air compared to the plain violence from the mercenary goons, anti-worker policemen and callous local government,” said Velasquez.
On the other hand, the results of last Thursday’s hearing at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) brought more problems than it solved: with the management and a contracting agency only presenting its lawyers, only one contracting agency presented its job offering description – and even this was deprived to the workers, as it pulled it out counter to the recommendation of the arbiter.
Firm in their stand, the workers call for the management to be held accountable and face the workers at the board hearing, and push for the regularization of the 397 contractual workers under the company plant in Cabuyao.
Since the distillery workers’ strike, more associations and unions for workers deemed by the capitalist as contractuals have been formed and registered to the Department of Labor and Employment, guaranteed by the Constitutional right to organization.
These unions were formed in Manco Synthetic, Manila Cordage, Inc., Karzai, and just recently, in Asia Brewery Inc., where neighboring distillery workers strike.
Velasquez heads the alliance of such formations here. “There is no question that the workers’ unity is spreading throughout factories in the region, as contractualization policies continue to spread in here,” added Velasquez.
Velasquez ended that such is the serious matter of contractualization, that is fought against by the workers, that it is not only an isolated case, but a national issue.
“It is undeniable that the nation now employs contractual, and not regular workers. It is then imperative for the people to show their unity. In the continuing call for justice for the slain Kentex workers, those who live in such conditions now unite to fight the common enemy that is the government’s continuing policy of contractualization and cheap labor in the nation,” concluded Velasquez.###
Ariel Velasquez, Chairperson, Liga ng Manggagawa para sa Regular na Hanapbuhay (LIGA), 09273957876