NutriAsia workers successfully regain picket line after violent dispersal

MARILAO, Bulacan — NutriAsia workers successfully regained their picket yesterday after they were violently dispersed by members of the Philippine National Police on June 14 where at least 23 were injured and arrested.

The picket was formed in front of the Meycauayan-Marilao Industrial Subdivision. Their first disbanded picket was located just beside the gate of the NutriAsia Marilao Plant.

Out of the 23 arrested individuals, 17 were brought to Meycauayan Camalig Police station and were charged with illegal assembly, alarm and scandal and physical injuries and direct assault. The remaining six were brought to Marilao Police station and are facing charges of obstruction of justice and trespassing.

The arrested individuals went to inquest proceedings in the morning of June 15 without the presence of any legal counsel. Currently, no court-branch at the Malolos Regional Trial Court took jurisdiction over the case. Meanwhile, the bail bond is pegged at Php 15,000-Php 20,000 each.

According to a report from the League of Filipino Students, the arrested individuals are jammed in a 60-person capacity cell that contains more than 200 other prisoners.

One of their members, a senior high school student from the Lyceum of the Philippines of the University, was attacked, beaten-up and arrested by at least five policemen while documenting the dispersal.

Along with members of the PNP, several men in civilian clothes are also seen carrying metal pipes behind their formation.

Since June 2, workers of the NutriAsia have installed their picket line and began their strike to call for regularization, decent wages, recognition of their union and humane working conditions.

Photo from Anakbayan

NutriAsia, the largest producer of liquid condiments in the country, is still denying that workers who went on strike were illegally contracted or subcontracted.

Photo from Anakbayan

Workers from NutriAsia only earn Php 380 a day with deductions for their uniform and personal protective equipment. Hundreds of workers have worked for more than a decade in the company but 1,100 workers remain contractual out of 1,200 workers in total.

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