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Si Jimmy at mga manggagawa ng PEPMACO

Si Jimmy Sioson ay isang kontraktwal na manggagawa sa Peerless Producers Manufacturing Corporation o PEPMACO na sumali sa welga simula noong Hunyo 24 sa Canlubang, Laguna.

Ibinahagi niya na bukod sa pagiging kontraktwal, masahol ang kanilang kalagayan sa pagawaan. Walang safety procedure at napakainit ng sabon na kanilang niluluto. Bukod pa rito, 12 oras sila kung magtrabaho, at kahit holiday a pinapapasok pa sila nang walong oras.

Nang buwagin ang isa nilang picketline noong Hunyo 28, isa si Jimmy sa malubhang nasugatan. Bukod sa tinamaan ng bato ang kanyang ulo, pinagpapalo pa siya ng mga gwardya at binomba ng tubig.

Hiling niya na pansamantala munang i-boykot ang mga produkto ng PEPMACO at humarap ang may-ari para matugunan ang kanilang mga hinaing. Ang PEPMACO ay pagmamay-ari ng kapitalistang si Simeon Tiu. Ang kanilang mga produkto ay ang sabon na Champion, detergent powder na Calla, Hana shampoo at Systema toothpaste. (Background Music: Tangerine Dream-Valley of Sun Bidyo ni: Joseph Cuevas/ Kodao)

Ang Sagupaan sa PEPMACO

(Bahagi ng Isang TulaSerye)
ni R.B.Abiva

“Ate, bakit lagi nang ginagabi si Nanay?”
tanong ni Hana sa kapatid
habang nakaharap sa isang palanggana
na puno ng maruming labahin
na binabaran ng pulbos ng Champion.

“Eh paano, inaabot na ng dose oras
ang ating ina sa pagawaan ng sabon,”
tugon ni Calla habang abala ito sa paghuhugas
ng pinagkainan nilang mag-anak.

“Hindi po ba labag ‘yun sa batas Ate?
Ang alam ko kasi ay walong oras lang dapat
ang trabaho ng mga manggagawa.
‘Yun din kasi ang sabi ng titser ko,”
wika ni Hana habang nakakunot
ang noo. Nahihiwagaan. Naguguluhan.

“Labag ‘yun! Sinabihan ko na nga dati
si Inay na umalis na sa kanyang trabaho
kasi maglilimang-taon na siyang
tagasako ng sabon ay kontraktwal pa rin siya.
Kaya nga hindi rin natin siya masisi
kung bakit pilit niya tayong pinagkakasya
sa barung-barong na tinitirhan natin ngayon
na ‘di hamak na mas maganda pa ‘ata
ang bahay ng alagang aso ni Simeon Tiu,
at mahal pa ang mga bilihin sa palengke,”
mabigat at padabog na sagot ni Calla.

“Nagkakasakit na nga rin si Inay.
Noong nakaraang linggo’y sinamahan ko siya
sa Pagamutang Bayan, paano ba naman kasi’y
mahigit isang linggo na ang kanyang ubo
at parang kinulam siya kasi nagbabalat
ang kanyang kamay na parang may galis
na ‘di mo malaman. Ang sabi ng doktor,
baka nakuha niya sa pagawaan.
Niresetahan naman siya
ng gamot ni Dok Isko,
kaso ang mamamahal.
Sinabihan pa niya si Inay na kailangan niyang magpahinga,
kaso, tahimik lang na tumango si Inay na para bang
may malalim na iniisip,” ‘ika ni Hana habang pinipiga
ang hawak-hawak na damit.

“Naku, asa ka pa eh nung Mother’s Day nga ay
ni hindi sila pinagpahinga. Sayang daw kasi ang kita
sabi ng boss nila. Kaya baka sa darating na panahon
ay magising na lamang tayo isang umaga na
matigas nang bangkay si Inay dahil daig pa
ang kalabaw kung kumayod sa pagawaan,”
sagot ni Calla habang isa-isang inaayos
ang mga tinidor, kutsara, plato, at mangkok.

“Ay! Ay! Ate! Kanginong damit ito
at bakit may bahid ng dugo!
Sa iyo ba ito?!
Ay! Ay! Bakit damit ito ni Inay!
Anong nangyari sa kanya?!” nang gulat-naghuhumiyaw
na si Hana.

“Kasama si Inay sa mga walang-awang sinaktan
ng mga eskirol ng pagawaan. Ayon sa kuwento
ni Aling Igmeng Panot ay nahampas ng batuta sa ulo
si Inay. Buti nga sa ulo raw ang tama ng ating Ina
kaysa sa asawa ni Asiong Bingi na bali raw ang ilong
at kahit na babae’y pinagtatadyakan pa daw sa tiyan
at dibdib at mukha. Kaya nga halos pumutok ang butsi
ng kanyang asawa sapagkat dinugo ito sa mismong barikada
nilang mga manggagawa. Nakakakilabot daw ang eksenang iyon
na parang sa pelikula lang daw nakikita,” nanginginig na sagot ni Calla
habang nakakuyom ang kanyang basang kamao.

“Bakit hindi ko ito alam Ate?!
Bakit ‘di mo agad sinabi?!”
tugon ng nakatayo’t naghihimutok
sa galit na si Hana.

“Paano ba naman kasi’y lagi kang abala sa inyong eskwelahan
at kung umuwi ka’y libro at pagbabasa ang iyong unang inaatupag,”
nang parang naniningil na tinig ni Hana.

“Eh nasaan na si Inay?” dagling bigkas ni Calla.

“Wala siya rito, pagkatapos mag-agaha’y pumunta sa pagawaan,
sa may barikada ng gaya niyang manggagawa,” maikling sagot ni Hana
habang nakayungyong ang ulo sa lupa na para bang uhay
ng palay na kay bibigat ang pasang butil.

Pagkarinig sa paliwanag ng kapatid
ay animo’y kidlat na kumaripas ng takbo si Calla
patungo sa barikada kung nasaan ang kanyang Ina
at iba pang mga Ama at Ina
na nakikibaka.
At nang mga sandaling yaon
ay nakabukas ang kanilang telebisyon
may mahinhin-malambing na tinig,
at boses ni Susan Roces iyon,
habang isa-isang lumalabas
ang imahe ng mga magkakaparis-
mag-asawa ang mga iyon
na nakasuot ng puting dami
na ang bawat paglabas nila’y sinasabayan
ng islogang “ Mula Noon, Ngayon At Magpakailanman,
Ang Champion Ay Tapat Sa Inyo.”

Hunyo 28, 2019
Lungsod ng Quezon, Maynila

KMU blames Duterte for intensified attacks in Compostela

Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno in Southern Mindanao (KMU-SMR) blamed President Rodrigo Duterte for “intensifying attacks on union workers” after two Sumifru Packing Plant union leaders survived separate assaults within a week.

KMU-SMR said in a statement Victor Ageas, Board of Director of Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm (NAMASUFA-NAFLU-KMU), was ambushed by motorcycle-riding gunmen Tuesday, September 4, at about 6:30 am while he was bound for work at Sumifru Packing Plant 340 at Purok Uno, Barangay Osmeña in Compostela town.

The unidentified assailants fired at the labor leader six times but Aegas was able to escape, the group said.

The attack came a day after Sumifru workers staged a protest action against the company for refusing to recognize them as regular employees.

KMU said that, in July 26, two masked men also went to Aegas’ house and asked for his whereabouts but left when told their target was not around.

Another union leader, Melodina Gumanoy, Secretary of NAMASUFA-NAFLU-KMU, was also tailed by motorcycle-riding men last Thursday, August 30, KMU said.

Gumanoy was on on her way to work in Packing Plant 250 of Sumifru at Purok 8, Brgy. Osmeña, Compostela when she realized she was being tailed by her attackers.

She hid in a nearby house to evade her attackers.

The attacks on workers-unionists intensified in Compostela Valley after President Duterte declared the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) a “terrorist” organization and subsequently tagged KMU and other progressive organizations as legal fronts of the underground group, KMU said.

Farmers are also being attacked in Compostela, the labor center said.

Peasant couple Gilbert and Jean Labial, members of Compostela Farmers Association, were gunned down last August 19, 2018 in Bango, Compostela, after attending the wake of Rolly Panebio, a fellow CFA member and security personnel of the Salugpongan Learning Center in Bango.

“KMU holds the Armed Forces of the Philippines President Duterte accountable for these blatant violation of the workers’ economic and political rights. KMU believes that these attacks are the Duterte government’s move to protect the business interests of Sumifru and mining companies in the area,” KMU said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

152 OFWs get Dubai exit pass; 88 home by August 15

By Angel Tesorero in Dubai / Raymund B. Villanueva in Manila

Dubai, UAE – A total of 152 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were given an exit pass in the first three working days (August 1, 2 and 5) of the 90-day immigration amnesty program, Philippine consul-general to Dubai Paul Raymund Cortes said Tuesday.

An estimated hundreds of thousand dirhams of overstaying fines were waived by the UAE government while the Philippine Consulate paid for the exit permits, including the Dh221 for an outpass and Dh521 fee for lifting of the absconding case to clear the name of the overstaying expat from the immigration list and letting the person return to the UAE without travel ban.

The Philippine Consulate also booked one-way tickets (DXB-MNL) for the returning Filipinos.

“Out of the 152 amnesty-seekers, 93 were given free tickets; the rest were not aware that we are providing them with free tickets. Some of them have both tickets a month before. Unfortunately, we cannot refund the fare due to restrictions in the Philippine government auditing rules,” Cortes said.

He explained that booking should be done by the Philippine Consulate.

OFW Fernando Pacheho holding his UAE exit pass. (Photo by Angel L. Tesorero)

Cortes added that out of the 93 who were given free tickets, five are minors who will travel with their respective guardians and the travel expenses of the guardians will also be shouldered by the Philippine government.

The first batch of 88 returning Filipinos will fly out of Dubai on August 15 via Philippine Airlines flight PR 659 which will take off from DXB Terminal 1 at 7:35pm and arrive 8.15am the following day (Manila time) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, where they will be met by officials from the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Cortes pegged the cost of sending home an overstaying Filipino at Dh2,200 each, including the cost of air fare and exit permits.

Dubai newspaper Khaleej Times earlier reported that, according to a source at the Philippine Consulate, around 5,000 overstaying Filipinos are expected to avail of the amnesty program and would probably go back home.

At a cost of Dh2,200 (fees and plane ticket) per person, the Philippine government is set to shell out at least Dh11m, which will be taken from the Assistance to Nationals (ATN) funds.

Cortes added that an undisclosed amount of welfare assistance will be provided to the returning Filipinos while the DFA officials in Manila will assist them in their travel from the airport to their respective hometowns or provinces.

“We are glad that the first of batch of Filipinos are finally going home and will be reunited with their loved ones and respective families. We are very happy that the UAE government has given them a chance to return to the Philippines through the amnesty program by waiving the overstaying fees. We at the Philippine Consulate are also happy to be part of bringing our kababayans (compatriots) back home through the DFA funding,” Cortes said.

He added: “We want to assure our kababayans that all assistance will be given to them to the fullest extent. And for those who will prefer to stay in the country and rectify their residency status, we will also provide them with utmost assistance in the documentation of their papers. But we would like to remind them to fulfill the necessary documents such as birth certificate to get a passport.”

PH government welcomes amnesty

In Manila, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) claimed 100,000 overseas Filipino workers would benefit from UAE’s amnesty declaration for overstaying foreign workers.

An expected 87,706 undocumented and overstaying Filipino workers are expected to apply for amnesty in Abu Dhabi and around 14,400 in Dubai, DOLE reported.

The amnesty program is effective from August to the end of October.

Those who wish to rectify their illegal status may be given assistance at the Philippine Embassy in the UAE as well as at Philippine Overseas Labor Offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, DOLE said.

DOLE said there are 646,258 documented OFWs in UAE, 224,572 of whom are in Abu Dhabi while 421,686 are in Dubai.

In light with this, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III called on overstaying as well as beleaguered OFWs to rectify their status in the Emirates or seek voluntary repatriation back to the Philippines.

“Our government is ready to help them if they wish to go back home,” Bello said.

OFWs who will seek voluntary repatriation will receive assistance from Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), including airport at cash assistance as well as overseas or local employment referral, livelihood assistance, legal at conciliation service, competency assessment at training assistance under DOLE’s Assist WELL (Welfare, Employment, Legal and Livelihood) Program. # (Photo by AL Tesorero)

Freed activist fulfills promise to fellow inmates

Anakbayan secretary general Einstein Recedes were among the 19 NutriAsia workers, supporters and journalists jailed by the Meycauayan police last July 30.

A few hours after their release last Wednesday, Recedes narrated to wellwishers and reporters about a promise he made with hundreds of fellow inmates at the Meycauayan police station. (Video by Joseph Cuevas)

 

NutriAsia guards, Meycauayan police deliberately attack journalists

During the violent dispersal of striking NutriAsia workers and their supporters last Monday, July 30, company guards and Meycauayan police under the direct supervision of Superintendent Santos Mera attacked and arrested without provocation members of the media covering the incident.

This video is a collection of actual footage by Kodao and Altermidya reporters who were arrested and hurt, as well as Supt. Mera’s illegal efforts to prevent others to inquire with him if they arrested the five journalists.

Liham sa Mamimili sa Pagitan ng Patalastas at Pandarahas sa NutriAsia

ni Joi Barrios-Leblanc

Mahal na Mamimili, ganito ang ibinabandera sa patalastas:
Masarap, masaya, basta’t NutriAsia.
Maasim ang Datu Puti na suka,
at All-around ang Mang Tomas na sarsa,
Manamis-namis at maalat naman ang toyong Silver Swan,
At ang ketchup na UFC, ay may tamis-anghang.
Paano nga ba makokompleto ang sangkap sa kusina
kung walang Nutri-asia na pampalasa?

Ganito naman inilalarawan ng kapitalista’t pasista
ang lahat ng nasa piket sa pabrika ng NutriAsia:
Basagulero ang mga iyan at naghagis ng bato,
May dalang droga kaya sila inaresto.
Pakialamero ang estudyanteng sasali-sali sa piket.
May bitbit na baril ang media, kung kaya’t ipiniit.
Samakatuwid: Kriminal silang binugbog at duguan.
Kaladkarin sa bilangguan, sampahan ng kaso sa hukuman.

Mamimili tayong lahat na hindi na kailanman
dapat makapagtimpla ng adobo
nang hindi naalalala ang duguang mukha
ng inaarestong matandang manggagawa,
o makapagsasawsaw ng inihaw na isda
nang hindi sumasagi sa gunita
kung paanong sa minsang pagbuwag ng piket,
nakadapa na’y patuloy pa rin ang pulisya sa paghataw
sa kanilang ang tanging ipinaglalaban
ay trabahong regular, kaligtasan at sapat na kita.

Patawarin tayo ni Lolang manggagawa,
sa mga hapagkainan nating ang asim at tamis,
ay likha nilang nagsisikhay sa pabrika.
Patawarin tayo nilang lahat na pinagbintangang kriminal:
silang baldado ang braso, napilay ang paa,
nagkasugat-sugat ang balat, at isinadlak sa likod ng rehas,
Patawarin tayo sa pagkikibit-balikat sa pandarahas,
basta’t may anghang at alat, ang hapunan sa hapag.

Mahal na Mamimili, na sana’y hindi pa nabubulunan,
Heto ang panawagan:
Ipamukha sa Nutri-Asia na walang sarap o saya
Hangga’t walang natitikmang katarungan sa paggawa.

‘Mas gusto pang magbayad sa security’

“Ang kapitalista, mas gusto pang magbayad sa mga militar, sa mga pulis, sa mga security kaysa bayaran yung mga manggagawang pinakikinabangan niya.”—Nenita Gonzaga, Vice President for Women, Kilusang Mayo Uno

‘Lahat nakaranas ng pananakit sa kanila’

“Hindi lang manggagawa. Lahat ng mga sektor na narito, at mga estudyante, nakaranas ng pananakit sa kanila. Pati pari. Wala silang pakialam.”–Reynante Gudinez, Spokesperson, Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng NutriAsia

Video shows violent NutriAsia dispersal instigated by guards

Using Philippine National Police shields, NutriAsia guards attacked the striking workers and their supporters in the violent dispersal at Marilao, Bulacan Monday afternoon, July 30.

In this video by Radyo Natin-Guimba reporter Jek Alcaraz, the workers and their supporters were asking the guards not to use their truncheons but were viciously attacked nonetheless.

Alcaraz was told by guards to go behind them, but was later hit on her lower right thigh by a truncheon-flailing guard during the melee.

The workers tried to defend themselves with placards as shield and later threw back a few stones and pieces of wood in retaliation but were easily overpowered by the aggressive guards.

The video later showed Alcaraz momentarily trapped inside the strikers’ makeshift hut but was able to retreat to a safe distance after instructing a woman to go through a gap in a barbwire fence.