The labor rights NGO, Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) vehemently condemns the brutal attack against the protesting workers of Lafarge Holcim Ltd.
Reports say that last May 1, the picketline of protesting workers under the union Davao Holcim Employees Workers Union was attacked by around 20 unidentified motorcycle riding men armed with knives. Workers’ protest materials including banners and placards were removed and destroyed. The union is affiliated with-Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Dahewu-Sentro).
The union suspected that the Holcim management was behind the attack allegedly to paralyze their protest and sow fear among the workers.
The workers have been in protest since March this year to demand the implementation of DOLE-11 order for regularization Instead of complying to the Order, the workers’ contractor Fort Steel Cargo Integrators Inc. immediately terminated the contracts and was also witnessed by DOLE-R11. “This is clearly a case of illegal dismissal. It’s such a shame that DOLE officials themselves witnessed it and did nothing,” says CTUHR.
“This (use of knives) is a new form of attack against the protesting workers who are only asking what was legally ordered by a government department. If the report that a DOLE representative was present when the workers’ contract was terminated by the agency, this was smacking its own order?” added CTUHR. The Center asserts that this has to be investigated thoroughly. “We also call on the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to conduct a through and impartial investigation of the attack to bring justice to the workers,” says Daisy Arago, CTUHR Executive Director.
CTUHR also slammed Lafarge Holcim Ltd. for its implementation of unfair labor practices such as labor-only contracting, underpayment, excessive working hours and non-provision of benefits. “It is contrary to their advertisement that the company values fairness and inclusivity in employment. The ads in its website is a hoax and must stop fooling he public”
“We are solidarity with Holcim workers and support their demand for regularization,” CTUHR ended.