Remaining quiet has never led to justice: Reflections on a solidarity trip with NutriAsia Workers: Page 3 of 3
wage. – Ed.] There are unjust deductions from salaries of the workers, even from those who are contractual. This has shocked the workers as to the level by which the corporation and the contracting agency have stooped. The extraction of the benefits to which the workers are entitled shows a cycle of exploitation and a corrupted system. Working arrangements have made regularisation far from the workers’ reach, despite years of being employed.
The unhappiness with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and its unwillingness to take an action has kept the workers waiting. The workers were surveyed and interviewed by the DOLE regarding their condition. As of now, the workers only expect some action to be taken in response to the factory survey conducted. [The Philippine labour department had reversed its initial ruling that now favours NutriAsia and B-Mirk, the biggest contracting agency in the factory. This is an outcome opposed by the Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng NutriAsia (United Workers of NutriAsia)– Ed.]
The workers only expect to be regularised and claim the rights they deserve, with their demands addressed. The end to this unjust and inhumane treatment is the only way out of the misery for the workers. This movement has become a movement of everyone and not just the workers because it represents the misery of a larger population than just the workers. The availability of cheap labour does not provide big corporations, like NutriAsia, the right to exploit labour. It’s a struggle against capital, and for worker’s rights. ###
Vidushi is an intern at IBON International, pursuing a Masters Degree in International Relations at the University College Dublin, in Ireland. These are her reflections on a solidarity trip at a workers’ picketline in Bulacan last 23 June, as part of a caravan of people’s organizations. As of 31 July, the picketline of the NutriAsia workers was violently dispersed for the second time, weeks after the Philippine labour department reversed its original ruling that the company and its biggest hiring agency, B-Mirk, are found to be engaged in illegal labour-only contracting.