31 May 2011
To our fellow workers in the Philippines and around the globe, to all those who do fishing whether as sport or as a commercial enterprise, and to all people everywhere,
We are workers of Mustad Terminal Tackle Phils. Inc. (MTTPI). Our union is comprised of daily rank and file employees with 120 members. Our average daily wage is Php464.34 (US$10.26). We have been employees at Mustad for the last 15 to 24 years.
Last May 24, 2011, Tuesday, at 10:15 in the morning, the management summoned three representatives from our union. In the presence of five management lawyers, supervisors, confidential employees and three representatives from the monthly rank and file union, the management announced that the company will be shutting down on that very day. They asked us to drop everything even though we were previously instructed to rush our production because we have a ship-out due that day.
The management has not filed for closure at the Department of Labor and Employment. To cover up this violation of the law [non-compliance with due process], they prepared a 30-day salary in advance even if we were not anymore asked to work for the period. The management has dropped a bombshell in our midst and put us in a very tight situation. They would only release our last payroll, which we had worked for, if we accepted and signed the termination notice, waiver, quitclaim, separation pay of 26 days per year of service, 13th month pay, and half of the general (sick leave/vacation leave) and the additional 30 days [which was supposed to serve as the prior notice before the shutdown.]
Because of the mingled shock, confusion, difficulty and fear felt by our co-workers, they were forced to accept the offer against their will.
Of the 169 employees of MUSTAD TTP—nine are supervisors, 32 are monthly rank and file, and 120 are daily rank and file—102 have accepted the separation pay. Sixty from the daily rank and file and three from the monthly rank and file were left to continue the fight for wages, job and our rights.
The MUSTAD management gravely violated us. What they did to us is extremely distressing.
MUSTAD has monopolized the global production of fishing hooks and fishing materials since 1980s. Despite this achievement, this is what they did to us workers who created the quality and expensive products that gave Mustad wealth as well as strengthened this multinational company.
This is why we are calling for support from you. We are calling for a boycott of all products of MUSTAD while they continue to do these things to us.
We are hoping for your warm and positive response because this fight is not ours alone but a fight of the entire working class against an oppressive system.
Thank you and long live to all!
CTUHR Public Information and Education
[translated by CTUHR from Filipino.]