Nakashin’s violations of workers’ rights left workers with no other option but to fight and hold a strike. We cannot emphasize this point enough in response to Davao City Vice-Mayor Paolo Duterte’s claim that it was national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno which instigated workers to hold a strike and subsequently caused the company’s closure. Don’t look at KMU, look at Nakashin’s violations of workers’ rights.
By refusing to recognize long-term contractual workers as regular employees, Nakashin Davao International Inc. has violated its workers’ right to a living wage, security of tenure and free exercise of trade-union rights. The illegal retrenchment of 75 workers for refusing to sign quitclaim waivers also violates workers’ rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and to organize.
Had the Nakashin management agreed to meet the workers’ just, legitimate and doable demands, they would not have been pushed to hold a strike. Nakashin is more than capable of regularizing its workers who have been employed for four to nine years doing jobs that are deemed desirable and necessary to the company’s operations.
We beg to disagree with the vice-mayor’s demand that President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of former Anakpawis Partylist representative and KMU vice-chairperson for Mindanao Joel “Ka Jomag” Maglunsod as the undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment be revoked.
Ka Jomag’s appointment as labor undersecretary is essential in ensuring that the incoming Duterte government’s promise of change is realized in the Labor Department. His appointment would ensure that the DOLE would serve the interests of Filipino workers. It would signal a departure from previous administrations’ thrust of neglecting and disrespecting workers’ rights and welfare to boost capitalists’ profits.
We hope that the workers of Nakashin could still hold a dialogue with vice-mayor Duterte and come up with a resolution that’s favorable to workers and the Nakashin management.