Kilusang Mayo Uno-SMR | Davao City - Workers from Packing Plant 90 of Sumifru Phils. Inc. in Compostela, Compostela Valley picket in front of Sumifru Phils office at Buhisan, Brgy. Tibungco, Davao City this morning to protest the unfair labor practice committed by the company.
The workers under the Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm-Packing Plant 90-National Federation of Labor Unions-Kilusang Mayo Uno (NAMASUFA-NAFLU-KMU) hit the company for its refusal to face them in the negotiating table for the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement by the union.
Vicente Barrios, the union’s president, explained that on November 2010 their union was certified by the Department of Labor and Employment as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of all regular rank and file employees of Sumifru Phils in its Packing Plant 90. The said certification came after the certification election held by the workers on July 2010, majority of them opted to be represented by the said union for bargaining purposes. Subsequently the union passed their CBA proposal to the company but the latter vehemently declined to face the union for negotiation.
Barrios said the Sumifru Phils continue to deny them as the company’s employees, instead insisted that the workers were under a labor contractor. “Mao nang di daw sila moatubang namo,” Barrios lamented.
But Barrios further clarified the issue of their employer-employee relationship with Sumifru Phils. He stressed that, that issue had alread been decided by the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) in 2010 that paved way to the certification election. “The BLR decision was final and executory, proclaiming Sumifru Phils. as the employer of the aforesaid workers and there should be no reason why they won’t sit for a negotiation,” Barrios said.
“This is a clear act of Unfair Labor Practice committed by Sumifru Phils.,” Barrios said. “Under the law, it is the responsibility of the employer to face its workers for a collective bargaining agreement but almost a year passed they were still snubbed. It only shows that Sumifru Phils. is not concerned to the welfare of its employees and is stiff even violating the labor laws just to rake in huge profits,” Barrios added.
The workers also denounced the scheme exploited by the company that used labor contractors. “These labor contractors were put up by the company to ward off their responsibilities to its workers,” Barrios claimed. “We are calling the government to immediately abolish its pro-capitalist contractualization program, and penalized those who violate our laws,” he added.
It was also learned during the protest that the union has already filed a Notice of Strike at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board last week on the grounds of Unfair Labor Practice. Barrios avows that they are firm on holding the strike anytime after they comply with all the procedural requisites by law. “We see the strike as our ultimate weapon against this abusive company, and we will fight until our last strength just to defend our rights and we are optimistic that through this unified action we could bring them to our concerns,” Barrios said.
Sumifru Phils. is a subsidiary company of Sumitomo Group of Companies from Japan and is engaged in cultivating and buying cavendish bananas mainly for export. Presently, it is one of the companies that has the biggest area of operations in the country which covers the provinces in Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, North Cotabato, Bukidnon, South Cotabato and Davao City.
For reference: Vicente Barrios: 09105784461