22 Feb. 2013
MANILA — National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned today the management of the Philippine Maritime Institute in Tagbilaran City, Bohol led by Ms. Rizabel Cloma-Santos for busting the workers’ union in the school by terminating the union’s officials
Last Jan. 15, six union officers of the PMI Faculty and Employees Union, an affiliate of the National Federation of Labor Unions-KMU, were terminated from work without a clear basis, prompting the union to launch a strike last Wednesday.
Union officials Alberto Porlacin (President), Joseph Nelson Sarabia (PRO), Violeta Dano (Treasurer), Nelson Estano (Auditor), Victorino Cabalit (member, Board of Directors), and Joel Langcamon (member, Board of Directors) were immediately barred from entering the school premises the following day.
The termination came after years of legal battles and employees’ protests over the school management’s non-implementation of incremental proceeds of 70 per cent of the tuition fee increase, refusal to grant faculty development fund and mid-year benefits, uneven distribution of workload among teaching employees, refusal to implement the grievance procedure and ranking of employees, and harassment.
“The employees of PMI-Bohol Colleges have every reason to hold a strike. The PMI management under the leadership of Ms. Cloma-Santos is clearly busting the union in an attempt to stop the employees from fighting for their just demands,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“The PMI management, in collusion with the government, has for years refused to grant what’s due to its employees. It is now stepping up its attacks. We are calling on workers and the public to support the PMI faculty and employees,” he added.
“The capitalist educator behind PMI is clearly oppressing and repressing the teachers and employees who are responsible for her wealth. She should immediately order the union leaders’ reinstatement and heed the employees’ demands,” he said.
After the PMIFEU-NAFLU-KMU filed a Notice of Strike last Jan. 16, the PMI-Bohol Colleges increased its security personnel and the leader of the Student Body Council was warned with expulsion should he support the employees’ strike.
“Not only has the Aquino government failed to provide decent jobs to Filipinos, it has also allowed capitalists to illegally terminate workers. It has emboldened capitalists to attack trade-union rights, illegally lay-off workers, and bust unions,” Labog said.
“Repression of workers’ unions, on top of violations of basic workers’ rights, is intensifying across the country. Aquino has brought nothing but change for the worse for the country’s workers and working people. No amount of propaganda by the Labor Department can hide this fact from workers,” he added.