By MARYA SALAMAT
In the approaching shopping season for Christmas, Triumph underwear as gifts for one’s self or for loved ones may no longer be a generous idea anymore. It would be tantamount to blessing the global giant’s cruel treatment of its employees.
This year, Triumph International has been busy executing some cruel, one-sided breakups affecting thousands of its decades-long employees in its manufacturing plants in the Philippines and Thailand. Triumph is doing so by the simple expedient of closing down their plants, justifying it by citing the global crisis.
But Triumph is simply transferring operations to other areas in these countries, the laid off workers both in Thailand and the Philippines found out. “Triumph International is only busting our unions and laying off its regularized workers who were receiving relatively higher wages and better working conditions as a consequence of our being unionized,” the workers said.
Triumph workers picket infront of DOLE last October 29, 2009
The unions of Triumph employees in the Philippines and Thailand have been picketing Triumph management offices and their country’s labor department or ministry ever since.
In the Philippines, the “unjust and inhumane closure” is still supposedly under negotiations by the Triumph management and union, if only the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) could make Triumph International show up in the negotiations, said Isabelita dela Cruz, president of union of workers in Triumph International Philippines, Inc. In their recent scheduled negotiations at the DOLE office, representatives of Triumph management did not show up. Instead, it just asked for another schedule, to which the DOLE easily agreed.
“We questioned the Department of Labor on why they just accepted the re-schedule. Why did they not confront or use their authority to mediate and resolve the workers’ demands?” said dela Cruz.
Outside DOLE, members of Triumph union held a moving picket. Like their fellow workers in Thailand, they have been continuously holding protest actions. Triumph Philippines workers have been protesting in front of Triumph’s sales and distribution office in Makati and in front of the DOLE office, but “the said Philippine government agency that should have been upholding the rights of workers is inutile in the face of massive displacement of workers,” dela Cruz said.
The workers are already on their fifth month of “tireless struggle.” They are asking for support from the general public. The least that the public could contribute to the workers’ struggle is to “Say no to Triumph products.” (Bulatlat.com)
in terms of solidarty we will start to print and handout faked christmas vouchers with an explenation about what is happening.
solidarity from switzerland.