DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Fifty-four workers from Korean-owned Shin Sun Tropical Fruit Co. from Compostela Valley province join the ongoing workers’ camp out in Metro Manila to protest the imposition of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao.
The workers left Davao region last July 10 and have joined the various protest actions in Metro Manila, to include pickets in front of the offices of the Department of Labor and Employment, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.
The workers said the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte failed to heed the demands of workers for regular jobs and a national minimum wage.
“We will be staying here together with the other delegation of workers from other parts of the country until the SONA (State of the Nation Address) of President Duterte,” said Jerome Hatamosa, spokesperson of Shin Sun workers in a phone interview with Davao Today.
Hatamosa said they wanted to tell Duterte of the ill-effects of the martial law declaration in Mindanao especially to workers.
They will also present the consequences of the schemes that capitalists implement in workplaces in Mindanao.
“We are also calling end contractualization and the increase of wage of workers,” Hatamosa added.
Workers at Shin Sun are on strike for nearly three months now after 53 of their co-workers were terminated, without due notice from their work in March of this year.
They also asked the management for an explanation as to the non-remittances of their benefits.
“We asked President Duterte to talk to us face-to-face to discuss the situation of workers in the country, and the effects of martial law on us,” Hatamosa said.
Duterte is set to deliver his second SONA on July 24 and among the pressing issues he will tackle is on contractualization of workers.
Read related story: ‘Endo’ among the pressing issues Duterte will tackle on SONA – Andanar
Earlier this month, the Kilusang Mayo Uno hit Duterte for failure to meet his promise to end contractualization.
The group also criticized DOLE for issuing Order No. 174 that legitimized contracting-out of labor through labor contracting agencies.
It also questioned the reported regularization of saying that regularization through labor contractor and not through their principal is not regularization.
“The DOLE has also failed to act on the obviously undeniable practice of “Endo” against SM workers and the prevalent contractualization by big multi-national corporations especially in Special Economic Zones,” KMU said. (davaotoday.com)