By Freddie Velez
MARILAO, Bulacan–Militant groups have joined and provided support to the striking workers of Nutri-Asia Inc. in this town.
This was confirmed last Tuesday by Senior Supt. Chito G. Bersaluna, acting Bulacan police director. He said, among the militant groups that joined and provided support to the striking Nagkakaisang Mangagawa ng Nutri-Asia Inc. are Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) from Pandi town and Kilusang Mayo Uno.
Alvin Lascano, spokesperson of the striking workers, said the strike started on Saturday after Nutri-Asia’s management allegedly employed actions to discredit and dismantle the registered labor union of the company.
The company is also conducting an illegal hiring of its workers on a contractual basis, Lascano added.
Meanwhile, Pat Tupas. Kadamay municipal leader of Pandi, confirmed that they, together with other labor groups, will be providing support to the striking workers of Nutri-Asia until their labor dispute with its management issettled.
“We are urging the company to reinstate the workers that they illegally dismissed and make them regular employees,” Tupas said.
In a statement, Nutri-Asia management said it recognizes the right to organize and peaceful assembly of its workers; however, due to the “illegal prevention of ingress and egress resulting in the work stoppage and detention of some of our personnel inside the plant, management has sought police assistance to maintain peace and order at the picket and protect the company’s property and assets. It is also seeking court intervention to order the lifting of the picket.”
Forty personnel from different police units were deployed near the strike site to maintain the peace and order situation in the area and to observe maximum tolerance, Bersaluna said.
Bersaluna also denied allegations of police harassment claiming their primary purpose of sending police contingent in the area is to maintain peace and order despite the strikers’ lack of permit and other requirements in holding a rally.