Monday, December 11, 2017

Ecozone workers protest continuing harassment of women strikers

Workers from the Cavite Economic Zone, together with their supporters, staged a rally at the main gate of the zone in protest at the continuing harassment of striking women workers of electronics company Lakepower Converter Inc. Yesterday, there was another incident of ecozone guards trying to prevent strikers from entering the ecozone. Another mediation meeting is scheduled tomorrow between the union and management.

The group Partido Manggagawa (PM) also called for the resignation of the head of the Cavite Economic Zone for being responsible for the harassment of striking women workers that resulted in injuries to two strikers and the imposition of “martial law” in the country’s biggest export processing zone. The picket today was the second solidarity action since last Friday.

“The violent attacks on women strikers by armed security guards contracted by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) lie squarely in the hands of Atty. Norma Tañag, head of the Cavite ecozone. We demand her resignation,” asserted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

Maricar Orque and Magdalena Peña, both workers of Lakepower Converter Inc., a Taiwanese-owned electronics company, were hurt in the commotion that followed the dismantling of the picketline last Thursday night. Lakepower workers went on strike that afternoon after mediation meetings convened by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board collapsed as management refused workers demands that the termination and suspension of union officers and members be stopped.

Magtubo added that “Tañag has imposed martial law in the Cavite ecozone with guards of the Jantro security agency and the PEZA police as her goons and thugs. Workers and supporters who want to bring food, water and supplies to the strikers are stopped and prevented from proceeding to the picketline. Jantro guards repeatedly intimidate strikers who put up protest placards and signs at the picketline. All of these are blatant transgressions of the DOLE-PEZA-PNP Guidelines on the Conduct of Personnel During Labor Disputes.”

PM assailed the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for inaction despite the incidents of violence at the Lakepower picketline. “While the DOLE celebrated its 84th anniversary yesterday in Bulacan, Cavite workers were facing violent repression by PEZA personnel. DOLE has the power to assign a peacekeeping team at the Lakepower picketline and the responsibility of convening an inter-agency committee to prevent violence during labor disputes. Pero natutulog sa pansitan ang DOLE habang dinadahas ang kababaihang manggagawa,” insisted Magtubo. ###

Photos of the picketline can be accessed here:

Photos of the rally at the Cavite ecozone can be accessed here:

December 11, 2017

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