hold protest against Makati-based banana firm
January 18, 2019
MANILA – Over 200
workers of banana company Sumifru Phils. Corp. held a protest today
in the company’s main office in Makati for neglecting court’s order
recognizing them as regular workers.
The workers under their
union Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm (NAMASUFA) have been
camping here in Manila since November last year in a bid to press
the company as well as the Department of Labor and Employment to
enforce the court’s order, and escape the military harassments
because of Martial law in Mindanao.
Paul John Dizon, NAMASUFA
President, revealed that since their labor dispute erupted on
October 1, 2018, one of their members was already killed, 2 escaped
from slay trials, at least 20 had been mauled, their protest camps
burned, belongings were looted, and their house including the
union’s office were burned down. The workers attributed all these
atrocities to Sumifru in cahoots with the state forces and enabled
through Martial Law.
“Instead of abiding by the
law, they mauled, robbed, and killed! For more than a decade the
company denied us our regular status and better benefits, now that
the Supreme Court had already ordered last 2017, this is how they
treated us!”, Dizon lamented.
As a sign of protest, the
workers threw paint bombs to the replica logo of Sumifru and called
on Paul Cuyegkeng, the company’s owner, to abide the law.
Sumifru Phils. Corp. is an
agricultural company engaged in sourcing, production, shipment and
marketing of various fresh fruits, primarily the export of quality
Cavendish bananas, pineapple, and papaya. The company operates in
more than 12,000 hectares in Mindanao.
In Compostela, Compostela
Valley where the protesting workers came from, the company operates
in more or less 2,200 hectares with 9 packing plants, with total
production capacity of at least 19,000 boxes per day or 7 million
boxes per year. The company’s gross daily income is P19 million per
day in Compostela operations alone.