More workers go on hunger strike vs end ENDO!

Manila, Philippines — The hunger strike initiated by four striking employees of Pacific Plaza Towers (PPT) that began last October 5, 2018 (Friday) has increased to sixteen (as of this writing), as the board of directors and building management residents continue to deny the workers demands of regularization and reinstatement.

This is the ninth day of the worker’s indefinite hunger strike since the management of PPT did not heed their demands when they (management) uphold the worker’s security of tenure and terminated seventeen (17) employees together with the two union officers.

The non-violent protest gained public sympathy and support shown by the pictures and statements posted on social media.

“We are elated that people we have never met in our lives have visited us in our picket line bringing food and whatever they can afford even with the price hikes. Their sympathy is what drives us to continue in the struggle”, says Judy Pastorpede, spokesperson of PUNYAL or Pacific Plaza United Action of Labor-SUPER Federation.

Among those who have expressed sympathy and regularly visited their picket line beside their families are college students from different universities including Ateneo and UP Diliman and groups such as Partido Lakas ng Masa and Sanlakas.

And to show their sympathy for their plight, supporters have also hold solidarity hunger strike from Sunday until Monday evening.

However, the strikers claim that they draw more inspiration from fellow wage-earners from the surrounding high-rise buildings who went to their picket line regularly to inquire about their condition and the status of their strike. They say that it is also heartwarming to read short messages from workers from all over the country who have grown sympathetic to their cause via social media.

Pastorpede says that despite the management’s hardline position on their demands for regularization and reinstatement, “Wasto at makatwiran ang aming pinaglalaban. Kakampi naman ang batas, kakampi namin ang milyong kapwa naming manggagawa na dumaranas ng kaparehong kalupitan sa ilalim ng sistemang kapitalismo.”

He adds, “paano kami susuko kung dito nakasalalay ang kakainin at kinabukasan ng aming mga anak? Hindi namin maaring isuko ang aming karapatan kilalanin bilang regular na empleyado dahil kung hindi, wala na kaming dignidad na ipagmamalaki sa aming mga anak.”

For militant labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), the PPT hunger strike should have been unnecessary if only the supposed constitutionally guaranteed rights of workers to Security of Tenure were not only recognized but also enforced as promised by the Duterte administration.

“It is a travesty of justice that those whose rights have been consistently denied and are those who have to undergo the painful realization of hunger as well as the fact that laws are easily circumvented to fulfill the interests of the filthy rich,” they said in a statement.

Beside Pastorpede, the others who joined the hunger strike include Lino Revilla, Jovanny Nalua, Edgar Virtuzado, Cris Rafales, Allan Cabigonas, Retanley Inocencio, Nino Galjilla, Abdul Tambungalan, Victor Vallega, Ali Glodeviza, Jerome Maderazo, Herald Apino, Enrico Lipit, Diones Chaves and Sammy Miranda.

The union believes that there are many decent and sympathetic residents because they are confident that has served them well but they claim that the resolution to the standoff will require the termination of Feliza Ramos, Roland Rojo, and PPT general manager Minda Barlis.

They allege that the three are rabid violators of labor rights and have blocked initiatives for an early resolution to the labor dispute. CPM

For more details, please contact, Ms. Ia Maranon @ 0999-9170847, Media Liaison officer, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino or Mr. Judy Pastorpede @ 0939-4710075

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