Category: KMU

PAMANTIK-KMU condemns the brutal dispersal and harassment of striking workers in CEPZ

TAGAPAMANDILA NG TUNAY, MILITANTE AT ANTI-IMPERYALISTANG UNYONISMO

153 Barangay Niugan, Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines
tel no: 049.8322189
telefax: 049.5310054
email: granahe@yahoo.com
Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan “¢ Kilusang Mayo Uno

Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU) or Solidarity Workers in Southern Tagalog-May First Movement assailed the PEZA police and company security guards for the brutal dispersal and harassment of striking workers in Cavite Export Processing Zone, Rosario, Cavite.

“The workers in Southern Tagalog condemn, in strongest terms, the bloody dispersal, physical and sexual harassments employed against workers who opted to exercise their right to strike because of the refusal of the capitalists to start with their collective bargaining negotiations,” according to Luz Baculo, PAMANTIK secretary-general.

Workers from 2 Korean garment factories, namely Chong Won Fashion, Inc. and Phils. Jeon Garments, Inc., simultaneously launched their strikes in the morning of September 24, 2006 on the grounds of managements’ unfair labor practices, union busting, refusal to bargain in the collective bargaining negotiations and illegal dismissal of workers.

Since their strikes, the workers were dispersed on 3 occasions by elements of Philippine Export Zone Authority (PEZA) Police and Jantro Security Agency which left scores badly wounded. Workers, who were mostly women, reported cases of sexual harassments while being dispersed by the police and security guards.

As of lunchtime on September 25, 2006, PEZA police imposed food blockade, checkpoints, ID and zone pass confiscation of Chong Won strikers and their supporters. PEZA police takes orders from PEZA director general Lilia de Lima.

Baculo added, “The workers’ strikes are legitimate. Only an irrational and illogical being will have them dispersed after the unions won several favourable legal decisions from different labor and government institutions.”

Nagkakaisang Manggagawa sa Chong Won-Independent (United Workers at Chong Won-Independent) won its legitimacy as a union in the certification elections and when declared sole and exclusive bargaining representative by the Department of Labor and Employment on August 5, 2004.

Instead of entertaining the union’s letters of intent in their interest to have collective bargaining negotiations, Chong Won management filed complaints, election protests, motions and petitions to labor and government institutions. The union, however, won favourably 2 Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) decisions, 2 from the Office of the Secretary of DoLE, 1 from the National Conciliation and Mediation Board, and 3 Court of Appeals decisions.

On the other hand, DoLE granted the sole and exclusive bargaining representative title to union Kaisahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Phils. Jeon, Inc. (Unity of Workers in Phils. Jeon, Inc.-Independent) after it won in the certification elections on August 16, 2004. Despite appeals from the management, the DoLE issued 4 separate orders affirming its decision favourable to the union.

“There is no reason for PAMANTIK to not support the workers of Chong Won and Phils. Jeon. We have already called the attention of workers in the region to support their strikes. We are also working to bring their cases to the House of Representatives and other institutions on the issue of human rights abuses.###

Reference: Luz Baculo, PAMANTIK Secretary-General, Mobile No. 09193198268

Simple but militant commemoration marks first anniversary of Ka Fort’s brutal killing

ACTION ALERT

Nestle co-workers together with workers from other companies in Southern Tagalog, supporters, family members, friends and comrades of Diosdado “Ka Fort” Fortuna will visit his grave, lay a martyr’s marker on his tombstone and renew their commitment to continue and carry on Ka Fort’s ideals and struggles. After a short program on his grave, they will proceed to the Nestle plant in Cabuyao, Laguna to hold a rally and a simple cultural event. These are the activities to commemorate in a simple but militant manner the first anniversary of the brutal killing of Ka Fort on Sept. 22, 2006.

A year ago, Ka Fort was mercilessly slain by two armed men on board a motorcycle while on his way home to visit his ailing 2-yr old grandson. He just came from a discussion with students integrating in the Nestle picket line. Ka Fort sustained two fatal gunshot wounds, with one bullet piercing through his heart and another hitting his liver.

At the time of his death, Ka Fort was the president of the United Filipro Employees (UFE) in Cabuyao, Laguna, the union of Nestle Cabuyao rank and file workers affiliated with the Drug, Food and Allied Industries under Kilusang Mayo Uno (DFA-KMU). He was also the chairman of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (PAMANTIK-KMU) or the Solidarity of Workers in Southern Tagalog and a member of the National Council of KMU. He was also the chairman of the Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Partylist in Southern Tagalog and co-chairman of the National Coalition for the Protection of Workers Rights – Southern Tagalog.

Before his death, Fortuna was on the military hit list due to his active trade union and political involvement. He was under constant surveillance and harassment by military and paid goons of Nestle since the Cabuyao plant went on strike on January 14, 2002 over deadlock in the collective bargaining negotiations. The Nestle management refused to adhere to the 1991 Supreme Court ruling on the inclusion of the workers’ retirement benefits in their collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Up to his last breath, Ka Fort led the Nestle workers’ struggle and courageously fought against combined attacks of Nestle and the Philippine government thru the Department of Labor and Employment. Despite numerous bribe offers coupled with threats to his life due to his union and political activities, he was steadfast to the workers’ cause and never for a single time abandoned the struggle. Ka Fort epitomizes the Filipino workers and people’s struggle for genuine equality, freedom and democracy.

Ka Fort is among the 64 trade unionists killed since 2001 under the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime. Over the last 6 years, more than 750 have been killed because of their political beliefs and activities. International bodies such as the Amnesty International, the International Confederation of Trade Unions and the Asia Human Rights Center have expressed an alarming concern on this increasing number of human rights violations committed by the Arroyo government.

Justice continues to elude Ka Fort. Up to now, his death remains unsolved. The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has also temporarily archived Ka Fort’s case.

But his death and sacrifices were not put to waste. The Nestle workers went on with their struggle against the giant multinational company. Recently, the Supreme Court has ruled the validity of the inclusion of the retirement benefits in the CBA. Similarly, Ka Fort continues to inspire not just the workers in Southern Tagalog but the workers all over the country and the globe.

We call on all our friends to join us in commemorating Ka Fort’s first death anniversary. Please send solidarity messages that can be read at the commemoration activities on Sept 22.

And as Ka Fort is one of the hundreds of victims of extra-judicial killings in the country, we also reiterate our call to you to be one with us in struggling against the new dictatorship of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. On Sept 21, there will be a nationwide protest action against Arroyo’s militarist and dictatorial policies. The Filipino nation is demanding an end to political killings and repression. The International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS) of which KMU is a member has also called for a Sept 21 Global Day of Action Against Extra-judicial Killings in the Philippines. We urge you to join this call by launching protest actions or dialogues on Philippine Consulates and Embassies in your respective places. You can also send protest letters to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines demanding a stop to political killings and repression and to respect the democratic aspirations of the people.

Solidarity messages for Ka Fort’s anniversary can be sent to:

PAMANTIK-KMU
e-mail address: granahe@yahoo.com
cc: kmuid@tri-isys.com

Protest letters can be sent to:

Nandu Nandkishore
CEO & President
Nestle Center
31 Plaza Drive
Rockwell Center, Makati City, Phils.
Fax No. (632) 8906681

Peter Brabeck
Chief Executive Officer
Nestle
Vevey, Switzerland
Email: Peter.Brabeck_Letmathe@nestle.com

Hon. Arturo Brion
Labor Secretary
Department of Labor and Employment
7th Floor, DOLE Building
Muralla Street, Intramuros, Manila, PHILIPPINES
fax: 0063-2-527 3494

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic
Malacanang Palace,
JP Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
Cell#: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462
E-mail: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

We would appreciate if you could inform us of your actions. Thank you very much for your continued support to the Filipino workers and people.

In solidarity,
KMU International Department

Nestle Update

Almost a year after Ka Fort’s death, the Supreme Court issued a ruling affirming the legality of the retirement plan as a valid issue in the collective bargaining. In their Notice of Judgment, the Supreme Court of the Philippines stated:

“The ruling of the Court of Appeals on the inclusion of the Retirement Plan as a valid issue in the collective bargaining negotiations between UFE-DFA-KMU and Nestle is AFFIRMED. The parties are directed to resume negotiations respecting the Retirement Plan and to take action consistent with the discussions hereinabove set forth. (the Supreme Court 1st Division G.R.Nos.158930-31/ G.R.Nos.158944-45 UFE-DFA-KMU VS. Nestle Phils.Inc. August 22, 2006)

Yet on the other hand, the Supreme Court ruled that the Nestle Philippines was not guilty of unfair labor practice in its refusal to bargain that finally pushed the workers to strike. Subsequent actions such as violent dispersals of the picket line and criminal charges slapped to the workers were not also considered as unfair labor practices.

Immediately after the Supreme Court decision came out, Nestle beefed up the number of company guards and military forces stationed inside the company in anticipation of workers’ actions. Simultaneously, the company’s dirty trick machinery started working again, engaging in disinformation and black propaganda against the union. It talked with the Municipal and Barangay Councils to seek their “help” in convincing the workers to yield to the management schemes. The families of the striking workers were being offered money to abandon the strike. These are some of the attempts of the company to avoid the Supreme Court decision to go back to the negotiating table to talk about the retirement benefits of the workers and the reinstatement of illegally dismissed striking workers.

The Nestle workers vow to continue with their fight. They continue to call for support to their struggle.

No stopping fight vs dictatorship of Arroyo PP 1017 too hot to handle

“Vigilance must be maintained”. This was the advice of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) as Arroyo withdrew PP 1017 this morning. “The revocation was done merely in words not in deeds. The attack on people’s rights will continue to intensify.”

According to Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, National Chairperson of the KMU, “The rescinding of PP 1017 shall be used as a veil to obfuscate the intensifying suppression of the people’s democratic, civil and political rights. By labeling the dissenters as ‘destabilizers’, it’s a go signal for attack. Even though Arroyo declared the revocation of PP 1017, warrantless arrest and summary executions of activists remains.”

Labog said Arroyo’s lifting of the State of National Emergency was done because “it was too hot to handle” as militants, media, lawyers, lawmakers and the rest of the nation bonded versus the Marcosian tactics.

Labog noted the report on DZMM that Arroyo use funds of the GSIS to infuse money on the stock market to make it bullish and create a positive outlook of the market on the PP 1017. “Another clear manipulation to perpetuate her stay in the Palace,” said Labog.

The Department of Justice made it clear that crackdown on political opposition will continue, as Rep. Crispin Beltran remained in detention on trumped up charges of rebellion and inciting to sedition. “How can service to the people, as exemplified by KMU Chairman Emeritus Ka Bel, and recognized by Congress by making him Congressman of the year for four consecutive years, be labeled as rebellious,” opined Labog.

One-party rule in the making

Meanwhile, Labog noted the start of a one-party rule under Arroyo. “Atienza’s coup on the Liberal Party was clearly orchestrated by Arroyo and Mike Defensor. Arroyo’s wants to maintain her grip on power by attacking the political parties opposed to her. Arroyo’s is already consolidating power as election season is in the air,” said Labog.

Labog said that Arroyo will do everything to remain seated in Malacañang. “Like a rabid dog, she will attack anyone who will express dissent to her rule. Even Ka Bel who is already 73 years old and suffering from hypertension will not be spared,” stated Labog.

Yesterday, Ka Bel was rushed to the hospital due to hypertension, affirming the fear of the family and supporters of the Anakpawis Partylist Representative. “We are reiterating our demand that Ka Bel be removed from Camp Crame and be brought to the Philippine Heart Center before his medical condition becomes even worse,” ended Labog. ###

KMU update and action alert

Two leaders of the Alliance of Nationalist and Genuine Labor Organization (ANGLO-KMU) arrested while negotiating to visit Rep. Crispin Beltran in Camp Crame.

10:45 a.m. – Two leaders of the KMU federation Alliance of Nationalist and Genuine Labor Organization (ANGLO-KMU) were arrested while they were negotiating to visit Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran in his detention cell in Camp Crame.

Dennis Maga and Marcial Dabela, Secretary General and Vice President for Organization respectively of ANGLO-KMU, were brought to Camp Karingal in Quezon City immediately after the arrest.

The two were part of about a hundred protesters from KMU and Anakpawis who marched to Camp Crame to demand the immediate release of Ka Bel. Ka Bel was illegally arrested and detained last Saturday, Feb. 26, a day after Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declared PD 1017, putting the country into a state of national emergency.

The protesters were blocked by anti-riot police in the intersection of Camp Crame and Santolan Avenue in EDSA. The negotiating panel, of which Maga and Dabela were part of, said that they also intend to visit Ka Bel to show support for him, especially since Ka Bel is the former national chairperson of ANGLO-KMU. The police responded that the protesters are too many for the ‘supposed’ visit. Both parties then agreed that 3-5 leaders would be allowed to enter and the others would have to move back. As the other protesters were moving back, the police hastily arrested the two leaders, breaking the earlier agreement.

“The arrest not only shows how treacherous this government is but more so, how dangerous is PD 1017 and how it can be subject to grave abuse. It is so disgusting that you can be arrested even when all you want to do is visit an illegally detained political figure,” said KMU Chairperson Elmer Labog.

“We will not be cowed by this kind of intimidation. We would be readying for more protests in the coming days, until our comrades Ka Bel, Maga and Dabela are released and until PD 1017 is revoked. We will continue to intensify our mass actions until Gloria is ousted,” ends Labog.

The following actions are recommended:

1. Send protest letters to the Philippine president and other concerned government agencies
2. Send solidarity message
3. Hold protest actions in front of the Philippine Consulates
4. Hold dialogues with Philippine Ambassadors
5. Any pertinent actions you may deem necessary

Send protest letters to:

H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila
Philippines
Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80
Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968
Mobile: (+ 63) 919 898 4622 / (+63) 917 839 8462
E-mail: corres@op.gov.ph / opnet@ops.gov.ph

Hon. Avelino J. Cruz, Jr.
Secretary of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, E. de los
Santos Avenue Quezon City
Voice: +63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Fax: +63(2) 911 6213
Email: osnd@philonline.com

Hon. Purificacion Valera Quisumbing
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City
Philippines
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
Email: drpvq@chr.gov.ph

You can send solidarity messages to:

Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
Email: crispinbeltran@gmail.com

Dennis Maga & Marcial Dabela
ANGLO-KMU
Email: kmuid@tri-isys.com

Please furnish the KMU (kmuid@tri-isys.com) with any actions you may take.

Thank you very much for your support to the Filipino workers and people!

In solidarity,
Kilusang Mayo Uno