Blood in our condiments, blood in Duterte’s hands
CEGP condemns the violent dispersal of NutriAsia workers’ picket by the Philippine National Police
President Rodrigo Duterte and his minions in the Philippine National Police (PNP) has yet again proved themselves to have a fetish on bloodlust as they violently disperse workers who staged a strike against the condiment giant NutriAsia.
The brute force used by PNP in its attempt to silence NutriAsia workers resulted in injuries, where four were rushed to the hospital after being brutally beaten by the police. Nineteen workers and one student were illegally arrested. The police refused to give them their Miranda Rights while paralegals were barred from giving them legal advice. PNP officers also harassed and threatened students who were trying to give assistance to the victims.
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines vehemently condemns this shameless act of state persecution to the workers. The Guild holds President Duterte directly responsible to this debacle as his administration failed to meet the basic and just demands of the disgruntled workers, notwithstanding his failure to fulfill his promise of ending contractualization in the country.
“President Duterte is nothing but a fascist dog that prioritizes his oligarch friends than the welfare of Filipino workers and their families. In his bid to satisfy the caprices of his cohorts in the business industry, he unleashed his police, charging through the picket line of protesting workers like a drug-fuelled rampage,” said Jose Mari Callueng, national president of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines.
NutriAsia workers staged their strike after rounds of an unfair and indiscriminate expulsion of seventy-five employees from the company. The company management is also notorious for falsifying health and safety reports to hide the hideous working condition inside their factories. Around 1,400 workers were also denied proper health benefits, compensation, and bonuses. They only receive Php380.00 minimum wage per day, far from government-sanctioned Php1,200.00 family living wage. Hundreds of workers who worked for more than a decade in the company also remain contractual.
The Department of Labor and Employment proved inutile to help uplift the workers from their misery. The staged visits of DOLE officials in the factory, as well as their ineffectiveness to settle the labor dispute prove that there is collusion between the agency and the company.
“Our nation has seen how the Duterte administration works: advantages and perks for the rich while the poor wallow in poverty and injustice. We call on the campus press and the youth to support the workers of NutriAsia. We should expose and battle the evils that our nation is currently facing that were spawned by greed and tyranny of the few,” Callueng ended.