NYCHRP Supports the Striking Workers of NutriAsia, Jollibee, and PLDT; Calls for the Regularization of Workers and an Increase to the National Minimum Wage

July 6, 2018

Reference: Rodrigo Bacus, Chairperson, New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), nychrp@gmail.com

NYCHRP Supports the Striking Workers of NutriAsia,  Jollibee, and PLDT; Calls for the Regularization of Workers and an Increase to the National Minimum Wage

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Infographic from Kilusang Mayo Uno

July 3, 2018, the workers of NutriAsia, allied under Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng NutriAsia (United Workers of NutriAsia, NMN), called out an urgent alert as the Philippine National Police prepared to carry out a dispersal order from the Philippine government. The dispersal order comes in the wake of attacks on workers all over the Philippines, including an order from Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), one of the largest telecommunications companies in the Philippines, to end its subcontractors, placing many workers in a limbo status. NYCHRP supports the undeterred spirit of the workers to struggle for better conditions, and support their calls for the end to contractualization (the practice of laying off workers every 4 to 6 months), a raise in minimum wage, and a genuinely free Philippines.

According to a Department of Labor report in May of 2018, Jollibee Foods Corporation and PLDT are ranked #1 and #3 with 14,960 workers and 8,310 workers affected. These estimates may even be undercounting the overall number of contractual workers considering that it counts the numbers by legal entity, as opposed to looking at the network of corporations associated with a particular brand. The same report counts DOLE Philippines, Inc. as #2 with 10,521 workers affected while DOLE-Stanfilco, a clear subsidiary or affiliate of DOLE, is ranked 20th with 1,131 workers affected.

Attempting to take advantage of the loopholes left behind by the Department of Labor and President Duterte’s claim to end contractualization, PLDT severed ties with many of its subcontractors, laying off 7,000 workers. Just a few months ago, NutriAsia similarly laid off many of its workers as their short-term contracts ended. The same fate occurred to workers of Jollibee in this same span of time.

Article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) recognizes the right of each individual to work. Article 7 protects their right just and favorable conditions of work, including a decent living for workers and their families. The contractualization of Filipino workers and the widespread wage rates of under $10 a day violate the spirit of these protections. In the Philippines, commodity prices are increasing while wages remain stagnant. As a result, many Filipino workers are forced to leave their communities and families behind. Moreover, about three-quarters of the country are farm workers or peasants, people obligated to big landlords to do labor and, in some cases, pay off debt. Contractualization, low wages, and the semi-feudal, semi-colonial economy of the Philippines are fundamental violations of the people’s rights.

NYCHRP supports the leadership of workers to form workers organizations and fight against these conditions and the continued neo-colonization of the Philippines. NMN, PLDT Organization of Workers and Employees for Rights (POWER), Defend Job Philippines, and Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement, KMU) are among the many organizations of workers leading worker strikes, worker occupations, and demonstrations across the country. We condemn the government’s response to these strikes by calling dispersals. We affirm that the workers are well within their rights to organize and form trade unions.

NYCHRP also supports the call for a genuine democracy in the Philippines, where workers and all peoples determine and uphold the rights to quality of life, land, and opportunity. Until the conditions of imperialism, bureaucrat capitalism, and semi-feudalism in the Philippines are abolished, the Philippines will not truly be free.

 

End Contractualization!

P750 Minimum Wage!

National Industrialization and Agrarian Reform for All!

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NYCHRP Marched in Solidarity with Separated Families and Forced Migrants

Reference: Rodrigo Bacus, Chairperson, New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), nychrp@gmail.com

NYCHRP Marched in Solidarity with Separated Families and Forced Migrants

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NEW YORK, NY – On June 30, members of the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) joined a contingent of Filipino organizations marching as Filipino Organizations for Community, Unity, and Safety (FOCUS) in the NYC March to End Family Separation.

The group of 15 increased in numbers when others joined the contingent as it made its way from Foley Square to Cadman Plaza. FOCUS called for the end of family separation at the border and also raised the call to end family separation everywhere, putting emphasis on the role of the United States in forced migration. FOCUS called on the people of New York to oppose the role of the U.S. in creating the structural and systemic conditions for violence and poverty to prevail around the globe, factors that force people out of their home countries and leave their families and communities behind.

FOCUS is a coalition of Filipino organizations united to defend and stand with communities as the Trump administration intensifies its attacks against black and brown communities. FOCUS was formed the Fall of 2017 in response to the Filipino community’s particular vulnerability to the increase in labor trafficking, increase in racist attacks on the streets and by government, increase in policing of communities, and increase in government attacks on civil liberties.

“We march in solidarity with families that Trump is separating at the border because as members of a generations of forced migrants we understand the pain of family separation,” mentioned Rodrigo Bacus, Chairperson of NYCHRP, explaining the reason why they came to march. “Hearing the cries of the children who are being locked up in cages and given space blankets reminds me of our tears and our family’s tears. We cannot let this type of open fascism be left unchecked. What the Trump administration is doing is a violation of human rights, particular the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

Rodrigo also called to attention the larger issue of forced migration and the role of the U.S. in driving it. Even today, US policy is still creating conflict and poverty in Philippines, Latin America, and other parts of the world. The Philippines is a backward semi-feudal, semi-colonial country where labor abuses and exploitation is normal and rampant. Migrant workers are forced to leave their families and communities behind,” continued Rodrigo. “We are calling for an end to family separation in the border and everywhere by ending forced migration and the exploitation of our people.”

NYCHRP supports the calls to abolish ICE and end the separation of families. NYCHRP opposes the violations of the human rights of migrants including asylum seekers and children at the south border of the U.S. and the torture of Jerome Aba, human rights advocate from Mindanao, Philippines. NYCHRP holds monthly general meetings to discuss human rights in the Philippines. Lean more by visiting our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NYCHRP/

 

No to Child Imprisonment or Family Separation!

No to Forced Migration!

Stop criminalization of migrants and refugees!

Stop arrest, detention, and deportation of migrants!

Uphold and Implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Their Families!

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