SUMIFRU workers break KMU protests

In their desire to return to work, the laborers under three banana cooperatives, Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Montevista ug Compostela, Tingug sa Yanong Trabahante Unyon and North Skilled Workers Independent Union broke the pickets led by Kilusang Mayo Uno in Packing Plant 220 at Compostela, Compostela Valley Province yesterday, October 11, 2018. KMU staged a protest to call for a p750-peso wage increase and their participation in the collective bargaining agreement with the banana company.

The confrontation of two camps led to violence but was immediately subdued by standby forces of PNP in the vicinity.

After dismantling the pickets in Packing Plant 220, the workers also dispersed the pickets in Packing Plant 115. Due to their successful streak, protesters in other packing plants peacefully abandoned their pickets.

The workers took the matter into their hands after KMU protesters refused to acknowledge the assumption of jurisdiction order signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and the temporary restraining order (TRO) served by the sheriff of Regional Trial Court Branch 56 together with Mayor Lema Bolo of Compostela.

The workers also asserted that KMU-NAMASCUFA lost the elections conducted by DOLE last May, 2018, thus they have no right to enter collective bargaining agreement with the company.

Workers expressed their elation over the dispersal of the KMU protesters. They said that they can now return to their work. During the stand-off, Compostela Valley Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy ordered the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office to distribute food packs to the affected workers. (ID Comval)