Regent Foods Corporation (RFC) management is set to implement a “run-away shop” tactic with its threat to transfer out of Pasig City, the snack manufacturer’s striking workers said.
“The Regent management just proved what we have been pointing out since we started our strike and mounted our picketlines last October 16 — that the RFC management will implement a runaway shop and lockout of its plant in Pasig City to get rid of the issues we are raising,” Regent Food Workers Union (RFWU) president Tita Cudiamat said.
Cudiamat was reacting to RFC’s statement that it is now mulls transferring its business out of Pasig City after Mayor Vico Sotto advised the company to rethink its position of filing charges against its striking workers.
“If you want to have a healthy relationship with our city, I highly suggest you rethink your position,” Sotto warned.
“Moving forward, RFC may simply accept its fate that the Pasig City Administration will unjustly make life hard for it and its 400-strong workforce, and contemplate simply bringing its business elsewhere,” the company said in a statement.
Cudiamat however said that RFC’s reaction to Sotto’s warning proves the company’s “illegal” plans.
Labor group Defend Jobs Philippines echoed the strikers’ accusations that RFC implemented a “long list of unfair labor practices against their workers.”
“For the longest time, striking workers have been airing out and complaining about the management’s attempt of runaway shop, lockout, union busting, unfair labor practices, contractualization, low wages, unpaid benefits, and violations of the workers right to union and strike,” Defend Job Philippines spokesperson Christian Lloyd Magsoy said in a statement.
Magsoy defended Sotto who also raised funds to allow some of those arrested, including a bystander, to post bail last Monday.
“No amount of defensive statements and baseless attacks against Mayor Vico can justify the long-drawn hardships of Regent workers for almost three decades of existence of this company,” Magsoy said.
Both RFWU and Defend Jobs Philippines warned the RFC management to brace itself for countercharges they plan to file in several legal venues the company’s “unfair labor practices, abusive acts…and the violent dispersal” last November 9 that also injured several workers.
“Instead of lying and spreading fake news and charges, the RFC management must focus in addressing our legitimate concerns. If they will remain firm in fabricating lies and stories, then we have no resort but to fight back in whatever legal and just means possible,” Cudiamat said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)