Published: January 14, 2012
We call for justice for the workers of Nestle Philippines in Cabuyao, Laguna as we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the historic Nestle workers’ strike. We raise our clenched fists in salute to the Nestle workers’ struggle against exploitation and repression in the hands of the multinational giant.
It has been 10 years since the Nestle workers launched a strike to assert the implementation of the Supreme Court’s 1991 ruling which states that workers’ retirement benefits should be covered by negotiations for a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The SC’s 1991 ruling is a victory of the struggle of Nestle workers. Nestle union president Meliton Roxas was gunned down in 1989 fighting for the inclusion of retirement benefits in CBA negotiations.
The Nestle workers’ strike was met with severe repression and grave violations of workers’ rights by the Arroyo government. The secretary of labor assumed jurisdiction over the strike, bringing in the military to suppress workers’ collective actions. Nestle union president Diosdato “Ka Fort” Fortuna was also assassinated in September 2005.
Due to the layoffs which resulted from the strike, most of the workers’ children stopped schooling while 78% of the workers’ houses were forfeited. Showing no mercy, Nestle filed criminal charges against 250 workers. The 10-year strike has witnessed the death of 48 workers.
Collusion with the multinational giant is one of the crimes of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime. The government of Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, however, is also conniving with Nestle in denying justice to the workers.
Despite everything that they went through, the Nestle workers are courageously continuing their struggle. They are standing solidly behind their demand, which is also a demand of the Filipino workers and people. We salute them in their struggle. Justice for Nestle workers!