|SAEU protest at DOLE Region III in Angeles City|
Med reps of the pharmaceutical firm Sanofi-Aventis held a prayer rally this afternoon as their protests entered its second day. The Philippine subsidiary of the giant French-owned multinational company is on the verge of strike as collective bargaining talks remain deadlocked. Since October last year, management and union have locked horns over ten items in the collective bargaining agreement, among them a wage increase. Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz have called for mediation meeting on Monday in bid to avert the impending strike.
“Sanofi med reps are asking for a wage hike that is commensurate to our labor productivity and company profitability. No more, no less. We are simply fighting for a salary we deserve,” declared Lei Lucido, president of the Sanofi-Aventis Employees Union (SAEU).
SAEU members organized the prayer rally today to dramatize their fight for a wage increase and other benefits. Mass actions were also launched today by SAEU in Iloilo City and Cebu City as part of the nationally coordinated protests.
Yesterday some 100 med reps held a rally at the Sanofi corporate headquarters in Makati while scores of other union members picketed the Department of Labor and Employment regional offices in the cities of Angeles in Pampanga, Cebu, Bacolod and Davao.
“Productivity increase should translate into a salary increase. If not, then there is no inclusive growth. If not, then gross inequality ensues,” argued Joseph Corpuz, a SAEU officer.
He added that “Labor costs comprise just two percent of the operational costs of Sanofi-Aventis. Granting our demand for a wage hike will hardly make a dent on the profitability a huge company like Sanofi.”
Lucido explained that “We aim to conclude a good CBA that will be an industry benchmark which should benefit all pharmaceutical workers. The fight for a salary increase and a living wage is not just our struggle, it is the fight of all Filipino workers.”
Representatives of the Bayer Philippines employees union, Philippine Airlines union PALEA, Federation of Free Workers, Industri-ALL global union and Partido Manggagawa attended the Makati protest yesterday to extend support for the Sanofi med reps.
SAEU represents some 200 med reps working for the company over the whole country. Sanofi-Aventis is among the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the Philippines and is fourth largest in the world in terms of sales.
January 21, 2016