After deliberating on the impeachment complaint, is it possible that the House of Representatives will now discuss an issue as local as the plight of striking workers at the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMCo)? Progressive lawmakers hope so.
BY ABIGAIL BENGWAYAN
BAGUIO CITY — Party-list groups Bayan Muna (BM, or People First), Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) and Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Aug. 29 filed House Resolution No. 923 calling on the House of Representatives Committee on Labor and Employment to conduct an inquiry in “aid of legislation into the unfair labor practices of (LCMCo) including the harassment, physical violence, arbitrary arrests and detention being made against their 1,685 striking workers.”
Reps. Crispin Beltran and Rafael Mariano (Anakpawis); Liza Maza (GWP); Satur Ocampo, Joel Virador and Teodoro Casiño (BM) said in the resolution that the Lepanto management has clearly violated numerous provisions of the Labor Code that “afford full protection to labor and assure the rights of workers to form unions, to collective bargaining and to strike.” They added that the mining company violated Article II, Section 18 of the Constitution which provides that the State shall protect the rights and welfare of workers.
The House committee was urged to come up with measures to protect the rights of the workers who have been on strike for three months and are facing harassment and intimidation reportedly by the national police and the management.
To date, the Lepanto management has refused to reinstate the dismissed union officers as demanded by the strikers.
Lepanto Employees Union (LEU) president Ninian Lang-agan said that he was grateful to the three party-list groups. He said their move proved that they are genuinely upholding the rights and welfare of their constituents.
He hopes that the resolution will be approved by the House and that the inquiry will be fruitful.
A local community newspaper also reported that lawyer Weldy Manlong, LCMCo operations manager, welcomed the resolution. With reports from Kim Quitasol (Bulatlat.com)