DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) condemned the latest incident of attempted murder against NAMASUFA workers of Sumifru in Compostela Valley, as unidentified individuals opened fire at the union president’s house on November 30 and tried to burn it.
The KMU-Southern Mindanao Region said unidentified men set on fire but failed to burn the house of NAMASUFA President Paul John Dizon at around midnight of November 29.
KMU added at around 1:30 am of November 30, unidentified individuals also barged into the compound of Dizon’s family and opened fire.
It is the third incident of attempted murder on NAMASUFA workers since the onset of their strike on October 1, according to KMU.
“Banana workers in Compostela remain to be harassed with these series of desperate attacks, after their strike was violently dispersed,” said Carlo Olalo, KMU-SMR secretary-general.
Namasufa worker Jerry Alicante, survived a slay attempt on November 11, after he was shot by unidentified gunmen outside his home in Purok 10 Brgy. Osmena, Compostela, ComVal.
On September 4, another union leader Victor Ageas, was also shot by unidentified riding in tandem while on his way to work.
Meanwhile, Danny Boy Bautista, a banana worker from packing plant 340, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on October 31 in Barangay Poblacion, Compostela.
“The local government of Compostela is inutile in going after the perpetrators that clearly come from the police, military, and hired goons of Sumifru,” Olalo said.
Japanese firm Sumifru refused to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with the workers, prompting workers under NAMASUFA to go into strike.
NAMASUFA calls on the Sumifru to regularize its contractual workers.
Meanwhile, members of NAMASUFA joined a national campout in Manila to call on the government to illegalize contractualization, and to act on low wages and “state repression”. The campout would also call on vigilance against a national declaration of martial rule.
Workers were set to hold campout until December this year.
“Workers from Mindanao joined the other sectors to voice out their dissent against Martial Law that attack the rights of people including workers, calling for legitimate labor demands,” Olalo said. (davaotoday.com)