DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Members of a labor organization expressed rage over the recent attack made by unidentified persons in their picket line and the protesting workers of LafargeHolcim Ltd.
The deliberate attack took place during the commemoration of Labor Day last May 1.
In a press conference on Monday, May 6, the Davao Holcim Employees Workers Union-Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Dahewu-Sentro) lambasted the recent attack, stating that around twenty individuals with knives, riding a motorcycle swooped down on the protesting workers’ picket line.
The unidentified hurriedly removed all the placards and banners displayed by the protesting workers.
Some of the workers in the picket line were sleeping when the deliberate attacked took place, the Dahewu-Sentro reported.
Albert Senioran, one of the protesting worker said the incident happened at around 12:35 in the morning of May 1 while it was raining hard.
Senioran said they asked the men not to remove the banners but upon seeing them with knives, they just let them take it for fear of the workers’ security and lives.
Sentro Davao Coordinator Michael M. Ibañez expressed belief the attack has something to do with the continuing plight of the workers and their fight for regularization as workers of LafargeHolcim Ltd.
“We don’t have any other suspect but the management of Holcim as they are our only opponent in this issue. If the workers stop their protest, the Holcim management will be triumphant,” Ibañez pointed out.
He said the union is now preparing to file a formal complaint against the management of LafargeHolcim Ltd. to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
They also intend to seek help from the international community as they are also filing an appropriate case in the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD).
“Clearly, this was designed to sow fear among the workers. It won’t work, as this will only strengthen our resolve to fight for our rights,” Ibañez said.
Around 100 workers of LafargeHolcim Ltd. staged a protest last March 4, 2019, after their contractor, the Fort Steel Cargo Integrators, Inc., issued a termination to their contracts the release of regularization order from the DOLE-11.
Ibañez said the process to terminate the workers are broadly opposite to President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to the worker’s sector.
On the day of the termination was served to the workers, Dahewu-Sentro said four representatives from the DOLE-11 were present to witness the process.
Another Sentro leader, Mercy Abucayon also questioned the process made by the agency with the presence of DOLE-11.
Abucayon said the law and President Duterte mandates that DOLE must design and implement programs and measures to end the contractualization scheme in the country.
“We challenge the Holcim management not to ignore the president’s order of regularization. They should follow the order,” she added.
Dahewu-Sentro is now calling the Holcim management to recognize all the members of the union. (davaotoday.com)