Workers storm DOLE calling for jobs and justice




Posted: August 10, 2010



ntramuros Manila. Defend Job Philippines stormed today at the Department of Labor and Employment to denounce the silence of President Noynoy Aquino on issues concerning the worsening condition of the Filipino workers and presented an Appeal for Jobs and Justice to the Office of the DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.


Photos courtesy of Tanggol Kabuhayan Pilipinas


Workers stormed DOLE calling for jobs and justice
By Tanggol Kabuhayan Pilipinas · View Photos

Intramuros Manila. Defend Job Philippines stormed today at the Department of Labor and Employment to denounce the silence of President Noynoy Aquino on issues concerning the worsening condition of the Filipino workers and presented an Appeal for Jobs and Justice to the Office of the DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

Local workers’ unions such as in Triumph International, Advan Shoes, Pepsi Cola, South Super Market and many others raised placards with specific calls against unjust lay-off and closure, contractualization and labor flexibilization, union busting and any form of repression to the workers.

“We call to President Noynoy Aquino and to the new Secretary of Labor Rosalinda Baldoz to immediately resolve various cases of violations to labor standards and workers rights such as the following:
a. Unjust, inhumane and illegal lay-off of 1663 workers and closure of Triumph International.
b. The long overdue union recognition of Advan shoes workers and collective bargaining issues
c. The continued massive lay-off of workers such as in ABS CBN
d. The ongoing outsourcing schemes at Philippine Airlines and in many major line of industries and services
e. The prevalent contractualization and labor flexibilization policies in Pepsi Cola, Comfoods, Philippine Port and in many export processing zones, factories, supermarkets and work places.
f. The passage of the P125 across the board wage increase

“We also push for concrete and long term solutions and end labor flexibilization and globalization policies which worsen the conditions of the Filipino workers.” Stressed by Gloria Bongon, President of Defend Job Philippines

Gloria Bongon said that Public Private Partnership and Build Operate Transfer schemes or programs of President Noynoy Aquino is not the answer to the unemployment and economic crisis our country is confronting but will only worsen the current liberalized and privatized economy which is mainly beneficial to multi and transnational corporations. What we need is a comprehensive economic development through nationalizing our industries and implementing land reform to generate genuine employment.

Finally, Defend Job Philippines initiated an Appeal for Jobs and Justice calling for immediate action for the displaced workers, creation of decent jobs, implementation of P125 wage increase, end to violations and repression to workers, amendments of anti-worker provisions of the Labor Code and decisive punishment to those who violate local and international labor standards. ###



Triumph Workers Picket & livelihood for the struggle
By Tanggol Kabuhayan Pilipinas · View Photos


We, the workers of Triumph International Philippines under the leadership of Bagong Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Triumph International - Independent or New Unity of Workers in Triumph International and Defend Job Philippines, strongly denounce and resist the injustice that was deliberately and spitefully committed to us by Triumph International Philippines.

We deem that the closure of Triumph International Philippines (June 27, 2009) which resulted to the lay-off of more than 1663 workers is uncalled, unjust and inhumane. The management’s reason for closing the company in the Philippines is unfounded and unacceptable: that the management had to implement a global restructuring program to keep its business healthy amidst global recession and downturn of demand.

We stand firm that the closure is anti-worker, unjust and inhumane and illegal because:

The company is not losing its business. In fact, Triumph International boasts in their official website the total revenue of $1.6 billion annually. It is still the number one lingerie company in the world. In the Philippines, the company sold P1.2 billion worth of underwear products in 2007 and the company’s asset grows from P189.8 million in 1989 to P745 million in 2007. For every bra we made is being sold in Europe for 35-40 euro while a Triumph worker only earns 7-10 euro a day. 10 000 pieces of bra and panty are produced everyday in the factory.

Triumph has closed the factory without prior notice and job saving measures to the workers giving us no single minute to prepare. It has deliberately violated our laws and international labor standards.

Triumph is also in bad faith when it concluded a successful Collective Bargaining Agreement with our union last December 2008 which is only 6 months before the closure.

Despite company’s open declaration of closure, the management still operates its Sales and Marketing Department, maintained 142 personnel and will also hire another 128 personnel. Right now, we are conducting further investigation on the reopening of Triumph in one of the International Industrial Park in Laguna and also their subcontract operations.

The Management of Triumph International has easily forgotten that the fruits of our labor have contributed to the overall success of the company. From a small bamboo walled factory in 1975 to more than 1 hectare concrete factory at present, we have joined and served the company for more than 30 years. Amidst crisis and prosperity, we have vitally and faithfully wielded our strength, wisdom, creativity for the best interest and satisfaction of Triumph International and our beloved consumers.

We condemn the destructive effect of the Global Restructuring Program or the Global Cost Cutting Program of the German Multi-National Company. At the expense for the cheapest labor, it has also retrenched our fellow workers in Thailand (1,959 workers), UK (65) and South Korea and recently announce lay off of 200 workers in Austria on October 31, 2010 and will close production in Malaysia this year. Barely, it has displaced the lives of the workers and our families.

We firmly believe that the closure of Triumph in the Philippines is a part of the grand plan under the Global Restructuring Program to bust the Bagong Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Triumph International - Independent and other unions in other countries with the aim of achieving greatest profit through cheapest and docile labor.

Triumph International Philippines has never ceased to violate workers rights ever since the 80’s. Now, the management of Triumph International in the Philippines delivers its worst attack against workers’ rights; massively retrenching the workers in the guise of ‘closing’ the company.

Our genuine and democratic union unwaveringly and militantly fights for our best interests and welfare. And it is very clear that the company wanted to take back all the hard won victories in the collective bargaining agreements and most of all from our collective actions against unfair labor practices.

We are saddened and disappointed that Triumph International does not practice what it preaches. The Triumph Success Stories that states: “Then as now, the philosophy of the company focuses on its people. We condemn and abhor any kind of discrimination on the grounds of sex, nationality, race or religion, and we are committed to observing international human rights statutes both within our own production operations and in all suppliers to Triumph International.” And in Triumph International Code of Conduct “Discrimination is forbidden. All employees are exclusively employed on the basis of their ability and suitability. Any kind of different treatment or discrimination of persons because of their descent, colour, religion, nationality, origin, political or union involvement or employment or because of sex or age has to cease.” (ILO-Agreement 100 and 111)”

We also believe that Triumph has breached the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multi-National Corporations on Business Conduct.

We condemn the connivance of the Philippine Government under President Arroyo through the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Marianito Roque and Triumph International. While it is the responsibility of the state to uphold our rights to job security and decent wages, the DOLE has given license to the management to retrench workers and to full protection of the law.

We denounce and call to stop the repression of our right to stage picket, criminalization of our collective action and demolition of our picketline. The company has used goons and Food Terminal Inc. Security Guards to destroy and suppress our makeshift tents and picket on March and May of 2009 and on May 4, 2010. The government controlled Food Terminal Incorporated has filed a civil case against us ordering us to leave and vacate our picketline and demanding millions of pesos from us as payment of damages.

We call to the new administration of the Department of Labor and Employment and President Aquino to act in favor of the workers and also support our demand to acquire the Triumph factory and let the workers operate it to generate employment for the displaced workers in the midst of the crisis.

We call to everyone to support our case “On unjust lay-off in the Philippines and Thailand” against Triumph International at the Swiss National Contact Point of Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development and also the investigation being conducted by the German Parliament to the behaviour of Triumph and trade union repression in the Philippines.

Send letters of appeal to:

Swiss National Contact Point of Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development

German Parliament
Committee on Human Rights

German Parliament- DIE LINKE
Annette Groth, MdB

Triumph International global headquarters:
Markus Speisshofer

President Benigno Aquino III
Hon. Jinggoy Estrada, Head, Labor Committee
Department Of Labor And Employment
Hon. Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz
Swiss Embassy-Manila
German Embassy Manila
P.O. Box 2190, Makati CPO
Makati City, 1261 Metro Manila, Philippines
Food Terminal Incorporated
President Maria Theresa A. Pinto