Banana plantation workers protest over 2-year stalled CBA talks

Jul. 11, 2016
Members of AJMR Labor Union-Association of Democratic Labor Organization stage a protest in front of the office of the banana firm, Sumifru in Bajada, Davao City. Jonjie Bayana, union v ice president said they want the management to face them for negotiations on workers issues regarding unfair labor practices.(Ace R. Morandante/

Jonjee Bayana, union vice president of AJMR Labor Union speaks during a protest action in front of the Sumifru office in Bajada, Davao City in April this year. ( file photo by Ace R. Morandante)

DAVAO CITY – Workers of a Japanese-owned company Sumifru aired their dismay over the stalled Collective Bargaining Agreement for two years.

In a protest rally held at the company office in Bajada last Friday, workers carried placards calling on the management to “stop unfair labor practice” and to “respect” their union. The AJMRLU-ADLO-KMU was recognized by the Department of Labor and Employment as the workers union in the company.

Vice Chairperson of the AJMRLU-ADLO-KMU (Albert Joe Mabel Robert Labor Union of Association of Democratic Labor Organization-Kilusang Mayo Uno) Jonjee Bayana, said that all the papers and certification from the National Conciliation and Mediation Board and the Department of Labor and Employment recognized them as the “sole and exclusive union” of workers.

“We have all the documents, but the company said that there is another workers’ union existing, even if the other union has no document to prove,” Bayana said.

Carlo Olalo, spokesperson of the Kilusang Mayo Uno in Southern Mindanao said that the management’s claim of an existing another union is “just a reason for them to not face the workers.”

Olalo said that “other union that the management claim is the previous union of AJMRLU-ADLO-KMU which was the AJMRLU-SPFL-TUCP.”

“The NCMB already said that the AJMRLU-ADLO-KMU is the sole and exlusive bargaining agent that the company [management] will be dealing,” Olalo added.

Olalo said that the protesters have “been sending letters to the company administration for two years” to no avail.

“As long as the company refuses to face the workers, the protests will continue,” Olalo said.

Meanwhile, national spokesperson of KMU, Elmer Labog who was also present during the protest to said the company should respect the rights of the workers.

Labog said they are positive with the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte against contratualization.

If contractualization will be abolished, “the number of regular employees will increase, therefore the volume of organized and unionized workers will also increase,” he added.

Labog said that they will continue to call for the national minimum wage of P750 daily for the private employees and P16,000 monthly for the government employees. (


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