Published: November 19, 2012
Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned today the harassment being perpetrated against workers in two ongoing labor disputes, saying the Aquino government continues to enforce martial law in the country’s workplaces.
It said workers of agribusiness magnate Lapanday Fruits Corporation in Davao City reported intensified surveillance, increased presence of security personnel, and harassment at home after they voted to file a Notice of Strike last October.
It also said heavily armed elements of the Philippine National Police have been going to the picketline of striking workers of First Farmers Holding Corporation in Talisay City, Negros Occidental, raising temperature in the workers’ protest.
“Instead of heeding workers’ legitimate demands, capitalists are using repression against workers. Instead of at least hearing out the workers’ demands, the Aquino government is only too willing to connive with capitalists in suppressing workers’ protests,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“Even under the presidency of Cory Aquino’s son, martial law continues to be enforced in workplaces across the country. Workers’ rights to organize, to speak up, and to assert their demands continue to be repressed,” he added.
“Harassments in the labor disputes in Lapanday and First Farmers prove once again that the Labor Department keeps its hands tied when it comes to various forms fo repression against workers. They prove that the PNP is a bunch of goons hired by capitalists when the need arises,” he added.
The labor center also responded to the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which expressed alarm over growing labor unrest in Negros Occidental.
Aside from the workers of First Farmers, workers of Bacolod Columbia Marketing Corporation have also gone on strike, while workers of Coca-Cola Bottling Plant and of Pambato Cargo Forwarder Inc. in the province are also holding their protests.
“Workers’ demands are simple and are based on studies of the profits of their respective employers. Capitalists are showing just how greedy they are by refusing to grant workers’ demands and by using repression against workers,” Labog said.
“Capitalists have the gall to express alarm over growing labor unrest but keep their mouths shut over intensifying violations of workers’ rights. They are increasing those violations with their efforts to harass and repress workers,” he added.