Revolutionary justice for the Filipino working class victims of big capitalists!

By REVOLUTIONARY COUNCIL OF TRADE UNIONS,
Southern Mindanao

In collaboration with the corrupt and fascist Arroyo regime, these capitalists severely exploit, deprive and suppress workers who struggle against retrenchments, lockouts and other forms of attacks against labor. Among the most rabid anti-worker corporations and culprits of massive displacement and despotism in the region are the STANFILCO-DOLE Phils, LAPANDAY, FRANKLIN BAKER and the Davao City Water District (DCWD). We hold the owners and top management of these companies accountable for these vicious economic and political attacks and vow to continue fighting them in all fronts. The spiraling economic crisis which is brought about by the moribund character of capitalism has placed workers at the losing end. Aggravated by the inutility of the Arroyo regime to decisively address the rice and oil crisis, workers today not only contend with very low wages but also face the threat of losing their jobs. In the past ten months, more than a thousand workers in the region were displaced due to lockouts and retrenchments.

By REVOLUTIONARY COUNCIL OF TRADE UNIONS,
Southern Mindanao

The Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions (RCTU) in Southern Mindanao, an underground group of revolutionary unions and an allied organization of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) expresses its strongest indignation of the systematic attack perpetrated by foreign and local comprador-capitalists against the Filipino working class.

In collaboration with the corrupt and fascist Arroyo regime, these capitalists severely exploit, deprive and suppress workers who struggle against retrenchments, lockouts and other forms of attacks against labor. Among the most rabid anti-worker corporations and culprits of massive displacement and despotism in the region are the STANFILCO-DOLE Phils, LAPANDAY, FRANKLIN BAKER and the Davao City Water District (DCWD). We hold the owners and top management of these companies accountable for these vicious economic and political attacks and vow to continue fighting them in all fronts. The spiraling economic crisis which is brought about by the moribund character of capitalism has placed workers at the losing end. Aggravated by the inutility of the Arroyo regime to decisively address the rice and oil crisis, workers today not only contend with very low wages but also face the threat of losing their jobs. In the past ten months, more than a thousand workers in the region were displaced due to lockouts and retrenchments.

In the guise of cost-cutting measures and redundancy, the Arroyo regime and big capital connived to deprive workers of their livelihood. Franklin Baker, a company which produces desiccated coconut and has a market in several continents, retrenched 242 regular workers last January. It has effectively wiped-out the regular force in its coconut paring department. However, it has employed the services of four external factories which supply it with pared coconut. The workers in these external factories are hired as contractuals and are deprived of regular employment. Franklin Baker has also a history of violence against the workers. It has figured in the violent dispersal of its striking workers in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur which claimed the lives of two workers. For the longest time, STANFILCO– Dole Philippines has exploited the Filipino workforce.

On September 2007, this fruit export giant assaulted the very people that made it an international force in the agricultural business. It has closed down the Davao Integrated Transport Facilities, Incorporated (DITFI), its subsidiary which transports overland its packed bananas and pineapple. Displaced were 250 workers, even if the subsidiary and its services were essential to Stanfilco – Dole Philippines' operations. Stanfilco – Dole Philippines employed the mercenary 10th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the notorious gang of Chito Herbolingo of the anti-communist National Alliance for Democracy to attack the workers' protest.

The subsidiary is now replaced by a manpower agency whose workforce is paid way below what the workers of DITFI used to received. Stanfilco – Dole Philippines has a record of wiping out their regular workforce and replacing them with contractual employees. LAPANDAY, another giant in the banana industry, recently terminated more than 200 workers.

This Lorenzo-owned company based in Mandug, Davao City ended the employment of workers whose sweat and blood created their vast wealth. The Lorenzos are accountable for the destruction of workers' livelihood and deaths of trade unionists. In the mid-80s, they financed anti-communist cults led by Jun Alcover who murdered union leaders Peter Alderete, Boy Lisondra, Danny Martinez, Miguel Bañados and Danilo Bañados. The RCTU rejoiced when Red fighters of the 1st Pulang Bagani Company of the New People's Army (NPA) disarmed the security force of Rafael Lorenzo last month.

The Davao City Water District (DCWD) has terminated on account of trumped up charges, the union president, two other officers and suspended 38 officers and members of the Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Davao City Water District (NAMADACWAD) on March 2008. The union, due to its steadfast campaign against the privatization of the DCWD earned the ire of the District's Board of Directors. This condemnable act is the brainchild of its Board Chairman Atty. Eliseo Braganza. Other cases of retrenchments and termination include the Master Ports Services, Incorporated which took away the job of more than 100 workers last month and Roto Fresh Max Banana plantation which retrenched 19 workers. There is a sharpening contradiction between labor and capital.

It is quite clear that big capital show no heart to workers and their families even if the economic crisis has reached unprecedented heights. Big capital greedily accumulates superprofit at the expense of the working class and with extreme callousness and cruelty. Gloria Arroyo, the Philippine Congress, the Department of Labor and Employment and its attached agencies represent foreign and local big business interests. These state instrumentalities serve at the behest of big capitalists in suppressing, attacking and annihilating militant unionism and nothing genuinely beneficial to the working class can be expected from them.

Only through the massive and sustained mobilization of its organized strength can the Filipino working class achieve gains in the struggle for wages, job security, rights and welfare together with the Filipino people's struggle for national and social emancipation. And as a concrete and complementary move to the trade union movement, and seeing no relief from the judicial system of the anti-labor Philippine state, the RCTU will file a case before the revolutionary People's Court of the People's Democratic Government in the countryside for acts tantamount to economic sabotage against workers' livelihood, human rights violations and other grievous crimes committed by the owners and top management personalities of the aforementioned companies. We enjoin all worker-victims, their families and the trade unions to support this endeavor with the end of attaining genuine and revolutionary justice. We call on all workers in the region to strengthen ranks, fight and foil the raging capitalist and regime onslaught.

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