Press Release


September 24, 2009

The Solidarity of Cavite Workers (SCW) is seeking justice from the International Labor Organization (ILO)  High Level Mission on the culpability of the Arroyo government in the implementation of the anti-labor “No Union, No Strike” (NUNS) policy in the province. NUNS had been in existence since Mrs. Arroyo and her reliable political ally, Governor Ireneo “Ayong” Maliksi, both took power in 2001.


“We are seeking justice from ILO,  for all the victims of trade union repression and extrajudicial killings in Cavite and for all the sufferings that the NUNS policy had caused to the unionized workers and to their families,” according to Aries Soledad, SCW secretary general.


Soledad stressed that the ILO investigation is a significant move in finding out truth from lies and determine the extent of culpability of the Arroyo government. However, this can only be ascertained if the ILO mission team will look deeper into the political aspect of the union rights repression and the killings of labor activists as a national unwritten policy of the government.


He said that in Cavite, Governor Ayong Maliksi, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the Philippine National Police (PNP) should all be held accountable with Mrs. Arroyo in openly trampling the rights of the workers to organize, to strike, and to bargain collectively. These government entities work against the rights of the workers because it affects Arroyo’s liberal economic policies on foreign investments and on cheap and meek labor.


Soledad further said that the NUNS policy is being implemented within the government’s framework of counter-insurgency through communist labelling of militant unions and their leaders, branding of organizers as NPA members, setting up of barangay intelligence network to hunt militant labor organizers, filing of fabricated criminal charges against known labor activists, anti-union propaganda at the workplaces, and direct connivance with foreign and local investors through the Cavite Industrial Peace Advisory Group (CIPAG), which is directly under the Office of the Provincial Governor (OPG).


NUNS policy’s systematic approach to suppress workers’ rights to freely organize, to strike, and to bargain collectively  remained a  barrier to this day in the struggle of the workers to attain just wage, security of tenure, and better working conditions, Soledad added.


Major complaints to be presented in the ILO investigations are as follows:


· Abduction of female strikers from Phils Jeon Garment, Inc. and military assault at the picketline of striking workers of Chong Won Fashion, Inc. in which both incident, ended the nine-month and 11-month strike of the workers, respectively,  due to  their companies refusal to bargain.


No impartial investigation of the two incidents as of this date was made by PEZA on those fateful nights and to the abduction of two union members of KMPJI who were traumatized by the violence and death threats  they received from their armed and masked attackers-abductors. To date as well, PEZA had completely failed to identify and seemed to be reluctant in divulging  the owner of the identified black vehicle with plate number WTH-196 used by the attackers in Chong Won on that ill-fated night of June 11 to dawn of  June 12 in 2007.


33 workers and organizers from both unions were charged with grave coercion and direct assault by PEZA policemen and had been issued warrants of arrest by Rosario, Cavite Municipal Trial Court on March 2009, and were all temporarily- freed on bail.


· Extra-judicial killings of Buth Servida on December 9, 2006 and Gerardo “Geri” Cristobal on March 10, 2008, who were both labor activists and former union officers in Yazaki-EMI. The perpetrators of their killing were believed to be members of the provincial police forces


· Dubious retrenchment and eventual dismissal of 103 union members and officers of Golden Will Fashions Phils.  Workers Organization (GWFPWO) while the company Golden Will Fashions Philippines Inc. (GWFPI) in connivance with PEZA is engaged in illegal transfer of machines and equipment and illegal operations outside of the First Cavite Industrial Estate (FCIE) to Jhen Ton High Fashion. This has resulted to the destruction and busting of the union. The union’s case likewise highlights the meddling of Cavite’s Office of the Provincial Governor (OPG) to the labor dispute.


Furthermore, 25 union officers and members were facing fabricated criminal charges of qualified theft from the management, a move to destroy the existence of the union amidst stalled CBA negotiation.


· Intervention of local government officials calling to stop union formation. Vilification  of union as leftist-leaning. Continued discrimination and intimidation of militant union members and officers in Hoffen Industries,  a sister company of GWFPI, in Dasmarinas, Cavite.


The Philippines, as a member-country of ILO since 1948, and signatory to its Conventions, should abide with the full observance of  the international labor standards specifically on what was ratified on ILO Conventions 87 and 98 - ILO Convention Number 87 is about the freedom of association and the protection of right to organize  and ILO Convention 98 is on the right to organize and collective bargaining.

Contact/Reference : Aries Soledad

     Secretary General-SCW

Telephone No.     : (046) 884-00-76