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

TAGAPAMANDILA NG TUNAY, MILITANTE AT ANTI-IMPERYALISTANG UNYONISMO

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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