Monday, September 3, 2018

Advisory: Countdown to strike at cigarette firm begins with protest at DOLE today

Media Advisory
September 4, 2018
Partido Manggagawa
Contact Rene Magtubo @ 09178532905

Advisory: Countdown to strike at cigarette firm begins with protest at DOLE today 

What: Picket-protest by workers as DOLE conducts mediation
When: Today,  September 4, 12:00 noon
Where: DOLE Intramuros

The countdown to the looming strike at the leading cigarette firm begins today with members of the Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Labor Union (PMFTCLU-NAFLU) holding a picket while the DOLE convenes another mediation hearing.

Production at Philip Morris-Fortune Tobacco Corp. is set to be disrupted as a large majority of workers voted yes in strike balloting. In a vote conducted last Friday at Vigan, Ilocos Sur and Marikina City, 73% of union members authorized a strike. According to the rules, an actual strike can be launched seven days after the vote was submitted to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) last Saturday.

Protests at the Marikina factory are scheduled every change of shift tomorrow. On Thursday afternoon, workers will march from the factory to the Concepcion, Marikina church to advocate their cause to the residents.

The labor dispute at the leading cigarette manufacturer is part of a rising wave of workers unrest. Scores of notices of strike have been filed and strikes are erupting in various companies.

The cigarette company shutdown its Vigan, Ilocos Sur redrying plant and also laid off workers at Marikina factory almost a month ago. In response the union filed notice of strike on August 9 and started protests. Yesterday the union held a general assembly to finalize plans for the strike vote.

Management alleges "rightsizing" is due to forthcoming impact of TRAIN and other factors. Union avers shutdown and layoff is attended by bad faith and deceit as the basis and terms of the shutdown and layoff were not subject to negotiation.

Moreover management admitted that the company is profitable and workers have achieved the target key performance indicators. Thus the union is lambasting management for termination as a "reward" for labor productivity. Some P2.35B or 65% of the P 3.63B total income of the Lucio Tan Group for the first quarter of this year came from its tobacco business.

Photos of the various union protests and activities at ###

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