By MARYA SALAMAT
MANILA — When President Duterte said that he couldn’t just sign the workers’ draft EO on ending ENDO, saying “I don’t think that I can really give them all kasi hindi naman natin mapilit ‘yung mga kapitalista na kung walang pera o ayaw nila o tamad…,” he oozes sympathy and respect for the employers’ decision and interests. He will not force them. He made them sound as if they may be losing money – a line that has long been considered worn out by most labor groups.
In fact, the regional Kilusang Mayo in Southern Tagalog has provided examples of big, profitable companies implementing illegal labor-only contracting. These include the following:
1. Multinational Coca Cola
At the start of this month Coca-Cola has 15,306 published number of employees which it announced it will “restructure” after an assessment of “operational efficiency and the evolving regulatory environment.” But Pamantik-KMU said Coca Cola has started doing that even before its announcement.
“It denied regular employment to almost 800 contractual workers in the Sta. Rosa, Laguna plant through its brazen disregard of labor laws; it aims to do the same on a nationwide scale,” Pamantik-KMU said in a statement early this month.
Coca Cola allegedly has an illegal practice of employing Red Systems, its fully-owned service agency to hire cheap labor across the country. In 2013, after a three-day strike in the Sta. Rosa plant, the Coca Cola workers employed under Red System won regularization. But Pamantik said the multinational company continued to employ cheap labor by using many other contracting agencies.
2. Tanduay, Manco Synthetic, Manila Cordage
Contractual workers of Tanduay Distillers, Inc., Manila Cordage Company and Manco Synthetic Inc., big, profitable companies in Southern Tagalog where workers had launched strikes, continue to employ a big number of contractuals. Pamantik said the strikers have not yet regained their job, under their true employers, despite the decision of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) that called for this. Pamantik estimated some 23,000 other workers from 22 factories who should have been regularized under the Labor officials’ orders, yet have not been reinstated up to now.
3. House Technology Inc.
Hundreds of contractual workers are believed to have perished or disappeared due to the fire in the factory last year. This year, fire also broke out in a sister company. After these fires, independent fact-finding mission by labor groups and rights advocates found that many of the workers here are non-regular or under various contractual arrangements.
4. C & F Manufacturing Phils. Corp. is a subsidiary of C & F Tooling Ltd. of Galway, Ireland. In 2016 it started busting the union, removing more than 90 employees and increasing the number of contractuals.
These are just some examples readily provided by one labor organization. On previous occasions, Pamantik has scored the DoLE’s “lax implementation of its labor standards.” It took the government to task for having given business owners s much leeway in avoiding responsibility for its anti-worker practices.