The Labor rights NGO, Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) appealed to Ms. Susan Roces, through an open letter, to support the workers of Peerless Producers Manufacturing Corporation (PEPMACO). This is the company that manufactures the detergent brand Champion, which Roces endorses.

The Center believes that Ms. Susan Roces, who portrays the character of Lola Flora in the popular teleserye “Ang Probinsyano,” has the power to influence the company to truly live up to the tagline of Champion detergent, “Tapat po sa inyo” and give their workers what they deserve. 

In their open letter, CTUHR shared to Lola Flora the plight of workers of PEPMACO. 

For several months now, PEPMACO workers have been complaining about the company’s unfair labor practices and union-busting schemes. They have been holding series of protests since February 2019. 

In 2018, some of the workers requested the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for a labor inspection of the company. They reported that the company is engaging in Labor-Only Contracting (LOC). They also complained about low wages, overwork and poor working conditions. 

In September of the same year, the DOLE-Region IVA conducted an inspection and confirmed the reports of the workers. Most of the contractuals work as machine operators, maintenance personnel, packers, bar inspectors, taper, sealer-palletizer, bundler and screw operators. Most of them have been working for the company for 5-10 years, but have remained contractual under manpower agencies. DOLE also found the company to be violating Occupational Health and Safety Standards. 

Last January and March this year, around 70 workers were illegally dismissed by the company.  The workers consider this as an attack against their union, as it was also in January that the workers have formally registered their union, PEPMACO Workers Union (PWU).  

“Kumakatok kami sa inyong butihing puso, sa mga katulad ninyong mga personahe, bilang endorser, mamimili, mamamayang Pilipino – na magamit ang inyong kapangyarihan at impluwensya para mapabuti ang kalagayan ng manggagawa ng mga produktong inyong itinataguyod. “Tapat po sa inyo”, iyan po ang sabi ng CHAMPION.  Ang katapatan ay hindi lamang po para sa mga mamimili kundi lalo’t higit dapat, para sa mga lumilikha ng kanilang produkto,” the Center appealed, in behalf of the workers of PEPMACO. 

(“We appeal to your kind heart that you use your influence and power as a personality, an endorser, a consumer and as a Filipino citizen, for the betterment of the situation of those who make the products that you promote. “Tapat po sa inyo,” that is what CHAMPION says. This truthfulness or faithfulness not only be for the consumers. More importantly, this should be accorded to those who create their products.)

The open letter ended with an invitation to Lola Flora, saying that the workers of PEPMACO will be very much willing to meet her personally and share their stories and struggles.###