CEGP denounces massive lay-off of Pepsi Cola workers

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines denounces the “deep-well mess” and massive lay-off of 1,000 Pepsi Cola workers, along with the Duterte regime’s tolerance on anti-labor and neoliberal policies of capitalists across the country.

Pepsi Cola regular and contractual workers held a protest in front their plant in Tunasan, Muntinlupa on June 14 to fervently reprehend Pepsi Cola Product Philippines Incorporated (PCPPI) for barring its 1,000 employees from working since June 11. The desperate and immediate move of PCPPI came when Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shut down its six deep-well pumps in their Muntinlupa plant.

The said deep-well serves as the water source of the plant for its production. On its shut down, the company halted their operations and denied the workers to go back in their work.

PCPPI is held accountable for addressing the calls of their workers in lieu to the deep-well shutdown. As the workers demand the PCPPI to settle the crisis, they should also receive a daily pay as a compensation.

Last 2017, the soda company earned 30.3 billion pesos as their workers suffer from cheap labor and callous working conditions. The company’s high revenue is enough for them to take action on finding another water source and address the labor rights of their employee.

Pepsi Cola’s move is for the soda company to brandish its way to systematically implement “Project Genesis”, which aims to purge the existing labor union, the Pepsi Cola Labor Unity (PCLU), to overturn the approaching collective action of the union to bargain with the soda company in asserting their labor rights and to totally shut down the Muntinlupa plant.

Workers also suffer from grave labor conditions, decreasing the quantitative manpower and obliging the contractual workers to work akin to regulars, and still earn minimum wage. They also suffer from inhumane working hours, serving for another 8-hours which totals 16-hours before they could take an overtime pay. Hundreds of workers have been serving on the company for decades and still remain contractual, deprived of benefits and bonuses. Regular workers also fear on the loss of job once the “Project Genesis” come in full-blown.

Pepsi Cola Workers Association is set to stage another protest as the soda company and the Duterte administration remains ruthless, to come back and uphold their labor rights with a broader and stronger movement.

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines supports the struggle of Filipino workers in their call to end contractualization and to fight for a national minimum wage.

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