Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 3, Number 13 May 4 - 10, 2003 Quezon City, Philippines
massive lay-off, contractualization
Workers in the various plants of the country’s largest food, beverage and packaging corporation are protesting against union busting, violations of Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), illegal dismissal and massive contractualization. Workers of Campo Carne, Cosmos Bottling Corporation, La Tondeña Distillers Incorporated (LTDI) and Monterey Farms, which are companies under San Miguel Corporation (SMC), and the workers of SMC Greater Manila Area themselves are now engaged in labor disputes with the SMC management.
Ilaw at Buklod ng mga Manggagawa sa San Miguel (IBM-KMU), SMC’s labor union,
charged that while the company targets expansion in Asia-Pacific, its workers
face retrenchment and worsening labor conditions.
William Merene, president of IBM-KMU, said, "The drastic reduction of SMC workforce over the years is really alarming. In 1990, SMC Greater Manila Area had a total of 5,000 workers. This year, the workforce dropped to only 1,200. Nationwide, since 1990, more than 10,000 workers under IBM have been retrenched due to the company's redundancy program."
latest casualties of retrenchment, according to the union, are 28 workers from
SMC Metal Closure and Litography Plant who were laid off last March 28.
SMC is targeting further expansion in China, Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam and
Malaysia, the management is doing all possible actions to further reduce
employment and retrench workers," said Merene.
labor leader said the SMC rakes in profits at the expense of its workers. From
January to February this year, SMC reportedly registered a P915 million income.
Core businesses including beer and beverages continue to improve. Overseas sales
are also expanding as beer sales volumes in Vietnam, North China and Australia
went up by 65%, 25% and 13%, respectively, in 2002 over the previous year. Beer
exports alone grew by 8% in 2002.
the La Tondeña workers in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan are still on strike over the
management's refusal to recognize their labor union and negotiate with workers
for their CBA. LTDI workers in Cabuyao, Laguna also mounted work stoppages
against gross violations of their CBA agreement and apparent union busting
measures. LTDI recorded a net profit P411 million on revenue of PHP2.6 billion.
The company's sales volume in January-March increased over 20% due to high
Carne went on strike last year after the company was illegally closed by the
management to give way to the merger with Purefoods-Hormel.