July 30, 2018
Migrante NY joins the rest of the Filipino people in condemning the violent dispersal and arrest of the striking workers at NutriAsia along with community supporters and journalists.
“Kami sa Migrante NY ay tumutuligsa sa hayagang pagyurak sa karapatang pantao na ipinakita ng kapulisan sa nakaraang dispersal sa NutriAsia strike” (we in Migrante NY condemns the blatant violation of human rights shown by the police of the recent dispersal at the NutriAsia strike) declared April Quibin, vice chairperson of Migrante NY.
Migrante NY also demands justice for the workers, supporters and journalists who were arrested during the dispersal.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) together with hired goons attacked the picket line of the workers while in the middle of a mass injuring several workers and supporters and arresting at least 19 people including members of independent media. Many of the injured were taken to the hospital including elderly and senior citizens. The PNP accused the strikers and supporters of firing gunshots and the arrested are accused of possession of firearms and drugs–a typical trumped up charges used by the PNP to justify their brutal actions. However videos taken during the commotion clearly showed that the strikers were provoked by the PNP.
NutriAsia is the company that makes famous Philippine food products such as Silverswan soy sauce, Datu Puti vinegar, Mang Tomas sauce, UFC banana sauce, Papa ketchup, Golden Fiesta sauce, etc. that can be found at various Asian supermarkets and groceries across the US. The Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng NutriAsia (NMN) or United Workers of NutriAsia launched a strike and put up a picket line in front of the factory since June 2, 2018.
Over 50 workers were illegally terminated by NutriAsia when the workers formed a union and made demands that prompted the workers to go on strike and set up a picket line in order to fight for their demands. Earlier this year, the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) released an order for several companies to regularize their workers-meaning to hire them permanently instead of “contractualization” where workers are often hired temporarily over and over.
“Migrante NY is supporting the call to boycott all NutriAsia products. We demand for the company to end contractualization and to release all the arrestees.” Said Gary Labao, Chairperson of Migrante NY.
He also added “We are launching a campaign to educate the consumers here in NY about the conditions of the workers in the Philippines and will also call to boycott the products of NutriAsia.”
Dominique Liwanag, Finance Officer of Migrante NY claimed “Nananawagan kami sa mga progresibong unyon, lalu na yung may malaking bilang ng members na Pilipino, na manindigan at makiisa sa manggagawa ng NutriAsia sa pamamagitan ng pagrelease ng pahayag at paglahok sa boycott”. (We urge all progressive Unions, especially those with significant Filipino membership, to stand in solidarity with the workers of NutriAsia by releasing solidarity statements and by participating in the boycott campaign).
Migrante NY is also urging the Unions and other supporters of workers cause to go visit the Philippines and see for themselves the conditions of the Filipino workers.
Over 6,000 Filipinos leave the Philippines everyday in search of work abroad partly due to lack of decent jobs in the Philippines as a result of the Philippine government’s continuous adherence to neoliberal economic policy the main culprit of contractualization practices such as the case of NutriAsia. In the main Philippine government’s Labor Export Program (LEP) that systematically sends thousands of Filipinos to work abroad to rely on their dollar remittances to keep the Philippine economy afloat manifests further implementation of neoliberal economic policies.
SUPPORT THE WORKERS OF NUTRIASIA!
JUSTICE FOR THE 19 ARRESTEES!
BOYCOTT NUTRIASA PRODUCTS!
Gary Labao, Migrante NY