Employers challenging the Duterte Administration

MANILA, Philippines — “I’m telling this to you. I’m just issuing a warning. You choose: Stop contractualization or I kill you.” This was the statement of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) in Malacañang few months after he was seated as President of the Republic.

But it seems his warning that employers respect and recognize employee rights falls on deaf ears.

By the looks of it, instead of heeding the President’s call to regularize their employees and totally eradicate the end-of- contract, or “ENDO” it works the other way around.

Just recently, one of the progressive groups from labor called NAGKAISA (UNITED) cried foul when they learned that the Labor Department (DOLE) was slanting the Department Order (DO) to favor the employers and business groups.

But thanks to the active role of NAGKAISA, the supposed anti-labor policy that was soon to be implemented this year has been blocked.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello with NAGKAISA leaders during a dialogue Thursday (05 January) Morning.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello with NAGKAISA leaders during a dialogue Thursday (05 January) Morning.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello clarified that a draft DO will be issued on January 13 or 14 and it will be presented to labor unions for comments. It will thereafter be deliberated in the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (NTIPC). Once it is approved, it will be issued as DO-1, series of 2017.

Pearl Island employees terminated

But given the effort of NAGKAISA and other labor groups in the country in campaigning to eliminate ENDO and other forms of labor unrest, employers and their cahoots in the government still, proliferates.

This month alone, the Pearl Island Commercial Incorporation terminated its regular employees for reasons of old age.

Mar Llanita—union president of Pearl Islands Workers Union, an affiliate of Federation of Free Workers (PIWU-FFW)—says that on January 2, the management of Pearl islands did not allow them to report for work.

“We were told to accept our separation pay because the company will no longer operate and a manpower agency will take over our job,” Llanita explained.


Yokohama targets organized workers, Fontana Casino shuttered

“Killing me softly”, this is how employees from Alliance of Yokohama Employees Union (AYE) and Alliance of Yokohama Supervisors Union (AYS) express their plight inside the company.

According to the two labor unions, the company is selectively issuing memos and job transfers to identified union members which raised anxiety, fears, and tension.

While AYE and AYS are fighting for their precious jobs, this is not the case for the 2,000 plus Fontana Leisure Park and Casino employees in the former U.S military base in Clark. Angeles, Pampanga.

On December 4, 2016, the state-run company the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) served the cease and desist order against the Fontana Development Corporation (FDC). This was signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialde.

Mahalia Casiraya Bertillo in her facebook account said that Fontana workers “are mere victims of these unfortunate events involving the owner (Jack Lam) of this business and some greedy politicians who lick the President by ordering the immediate closure of casino without any due process.”

Faremo International a “runaway shop”

The same fate was also experienced by employees from their former employers the Faremo International Incorporation after 2,000 of its employees were displaced when the firm decided to close the garment factory in October 2016. Their reason: they are losing their clients.

Mga empleyado ng Faremo nagsagawa ng protesta para tutulan ang desiyong pagsasara ng kumpanya
Faremo workers stage a strike (October 2016), after the management released the closure order.

Faremo is one of the biggest company inside the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) in Rosario, Cavite and is a subsidiary of the South Korean Multinational Hansoll.

But the workers think otherwise.

“Naniniwala kaming isang porma ito ng union busting, dahil ginawa ng management ang pagsasara matapos na ma-conclude at mapirmahan ang aming Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA),” Nalyn Gutierrez Coronel, a union member of Faremo Internatinal Inc., Workers Association Independent Union (FIIWAIU) explained.

[We believe the move of Faremo management is a form of union busting, this after our Collective Bargaining Agreement was concluded and signed].

NAGKAISA reminded the DOLE that what they craft, and the bill which they should ask to be certified, should live up to President Duterte’s promise: END IT! STOP IT! CPM

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