Labor group calls for boycott of NutriAsia products

MANILAA labor group has joined calls for the public to boycott NutriAsia products, until its labor dispute is resolved.

The boycott will not only support the legitimate struggle of workers, but more importantly, send a strong message by the consuming public to NutriAsia, that we the public will not consume products sold and profited (from) by a company that is violating workers' rights, Partido Manggagawa (PM) chairman Renato Magtubo said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The company's products include Mang Tomas, Datu Puti, and UFC ketchup.

Magtubo also slammed the violent dispersal of the protesting workers and their supporters at the condiments company's factory in Marilao, Bulacan on Monday.

Partido Manggagawa condemns in strongest terms the violent dispersal of PNP (Philippine National Police) forces on the peaceful protest action of workers and their supporters, which has resulted into scores of injuries and arrests, he added.

The PM official noted that the workers were only claiming their rights based on the orders of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The issue of the protest action is a legitimate onethe demand for regularization of hundreds of workers employed by manpower agencies for many years to the principal employer, the NutriAsia, he explained.

At the same time, the labor group urged the Commission on Human Rights to investigate the incident.

They likewise called on senators to prioritize the deliberation of Senate Bill No. 1826 for Congress to finally legislate a new law governing labor contracting in the country.

Some 300 NutriAsia workers and their supporters holding a protest strike were violently dispersed by the company's security personnel and the police on Monday.

NutriAsia: Striking workers initiated violence

Meanwhile, the firm said some 200 striking workers of Toll Packer BMirk and their supporters sparked the violence when they allegedly fired a shot in the air and started to throw rocks at police and guards tasked to maintain peace and order.

This happened three days after the DOLE instructed the non-striking majority of Toll Packers' employees to return to work.

"It is unfortunate that the strikers staged a violent attack while a DOLE-led mediation meeting among stakeholders, including the union organizer, was at the same time ongoing with the objective of seeking a peaceful settlement for the strikers," NutriAsia said in a statement released Monday.

It added that the striking workers and their sympathizers violated the writ of preliminary injunction issued by the Malolos Regional Trial Court (RTC), which ordered the independent workers' union and all the other persons acting under its authority, direction or control, during the pendency of this case, to desist and restrain from obstructing the ingress to and egress from the company plant located at 904 Angeles Road MIS 3 Lambakin, Marilao, Bulacan of NutriAsia, Inc. Marilao or obstruct thoroughfares leading thereto, including but limited to Dayap Road."

The company also called out the strikers for allegedly using children and the elderly "as front-liners and human shields" in barricading the plant's entry points.

"These children and elderlies clearly have nothing to do with the labor issue at hand. We appeal for calm among the strikers and their supporters and would like to let the public know that the situation is currently in the hands and under control by the Philippine National Police. We appeal to everyone to comply with the rule of law as we all seek a peaceful resolution," it added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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