MANILA – Traveling from Quezon City to Marilao, Bulacan, organizations and people from all walks of life showed their support for the NutriAsia striking workers on June 23, Saturday.
It was the 23rd day of the NutriAsia strike.
They held their program at the picket line and echoed the workers’ call: “Manggagawang tinanggal, ibalik, ibalik!” (Reinstate, terminated workers.)
They also urged the public to boycott NutriAsia products which are condiments like Mang Tomas, Datu Puti, UFC Banana ketchup among others.
In her speech, satirist Mae Paner lambasted Chinese-Filipino businessman, Joselito Campos, owner of NutriASia for violating the workers right to just wages, security of tenure and right to safe workplace. She said ending contractualization in his company will not lead to his bankruptcy. “Kahit ilang lifetime pa hindi mo kayang ubusin ang yaman mo,” she said. (Your wealth will not be dissipated in many lifetimes.)
“Life is not just about yaman (wealth), Mr. Campos. Life is also about meaning. Malay mo kung magawa mo ito, ito na ang iiwan mo sa iyong NurtiAsia, ang pagiging makatao. Hindi masamang maging makatao, Mr. Campos,” she added. (Who knows when you’re able to do this, to be humanitarian, this will be your legacy. There’s nothing bad about being humanitarian, Mr. Campos)
Former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares also said that it is not true that regularizing workers will lead to the company’s bankruptcy. They are only after their profits, he said. “Capitalists do not want regularization because they don’t want to give just wages and benefits to their workers. They also cannot arbitrarily terminate regular workers” he said.
In 2015, NutriAsia has recorded at least P16.8 billion ($320 million) in total assets. It also distributes and sells products in Europe, Middle East, Asia, Pacific, and North America.
Meanwhile, workers in its factory are receiving meager wages of P380 ($7) per day and only 100 out of 1,400 are regular workers.
Read: NutriAsia workers go on strike against ‘illegal termination,’ contractualization
Text by Anne Marxze D. Umil
Photos by Carlo Manalansan