RESPECT RIGHT TO WORK. REINSTATE ALL ILLEGALLY DISMISSED WORKERS OF PRINT TOWN. AN URGENT CALL FOR SOLIDARITY
RESPECT RIGHT TO WORK.
REINSTATE ALL ILLEGALLY DISMISSED WORKERS OF PRINT TOWN.
An Urgent Call for Solidarity
Defend Job Philippines with Nagkakaisang Manggagawa sa Print Town (United Workers in Print Town) strongly denounce the massive, illegal and unjust dismissal of more than 100 production workers in Mamplasan, Binan, Laguna Plant. We also denounce the inhumane working condition of the workers.
Print Town Workers work in the largest privately owned newspaper and commercial printer in the Philippines. It is under the Print Town Group of companies of the INQUIRER Group of Companies owned by Marixi Rufino Prieto—FORBE S’ #40 richest Filipina in 2008 with a net worth of $30 million.
Print Town Group of Companies is composed of FEP Printing Corporation which prints Philippine Daily Inquirer; Alliance Media Printing Corporation Inc. which prints Asian Wall Street Journal and Lexmedia Digital Corporation which invests in digital free press, printing books, magazine, catalogs, directory, calendar, poster, annual report, packaging carton and labels such as Biz News, People Asia, Look Magazine, HNM, WSJ, Tahanan books, Red Magazine, Sundance, FX, Shop Magazine, AVON Brochure, Liahona, Laguna Libre, Adobo, Ever Bilena, Human Nature, Animo, Splash, Mighty, SIM and many more.
On October 16, 2013, more than 90 workers were illegally dismissed by the company from Commercial Division or LEX Media. The workers were all surprised that their work at Print Town is finished and were given their last pay slip. There was no prior notice, no just basis or any just explanation of the dismissal. The October 2013 dismissal was not the first time that the company illegally and unjustly laid off workers. Sometime on 2005, more than 80 workers under the FEP or News Division were also dismissed then followed on 2011 where 10 workers in the Commercial Division or Lex Media and maintenance department were dismissed as well.
We strongly stand that workers are already regular employees in the company and therefore deserves their right to job security– a guarantee of social justice for the workers and their family. The law states that security of tenure means the employer shall not terminate the services of its workers except for just and authorized cause such as serious misconduct, habitual neglect, commission of a crime, illness of an employee or to prevent losses. However, none of these are committed by any of the illegally dismissed workers. None of these are the true reason of the company to dismiss the workers.
CONTRACTUALIZATION IS THE MAIN REASON OF THE DISMISSAL. Illegally dismissed workers are long time workers in the company with length of service of 1, 2, 5, 7, 10 to 12 years of service. These workers are assigned in strategic and major departments such as web, pre press, sheet fed, folding, stitching, sorting and packing of the post press department, delivery and maintenance. However, they are placed under various manpower cooperatives such as Printtown Partners Multipurpose Cooperative (PPMC), People Resource Multipurpose Cooperative (PRMC), Helping Hands and many more. Their work is not different from those who are directly hired by the company. Yet their salary remains in the minimum level at P337 a day while those under piece rate basis can only take P125 a day or even less and without benefits.
Moreover, in order to meet the demands and quota of the company, the workers do their work straight for 24 hours or more. They even experience skipping time to sleep or rest and cannot even change underwear or go to toilet on time. This is how inhumane the situation of workers at Print Town.
Print Town know that the victory of the case filed by the workers at the National Labor Relations Commission on 2011 granting REINSTATEMENT and PAYMENT OF FULL BACK WAGES to the illegally dismissed workers is a big threat to its interest for SUPER PROFIT and to their contractualization scheme. The company is also threatened to the collective strength and actions of the workers who are slowly raising their consciousness, voicing out, organizing and rising up against inhumane and exploitative policy of the company.
Thus, as enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, “The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, which includes the right of everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate steps to safeguard this right. We call on the Philippine Government to:
1. Act promptly for the reinstatement of all illegally dismissed workers of Print Town and that they shall be paid of full back wages and other benefits.
2. Ensure the security of tenure of all workers. Stop the implementation of contractualization and other forms of precarious work.
3. Give immediate and substantial unemployment assistance to all dismissed workers.
We also call to the Print Town and the Inquirer Group to practice what you preach in your Vision and Mission Statement on UPHOLDING TRUTH AND FAIRNESS. The TRUTH is without the workers who labored day and night in the production, news and editorial department, you cannot be one of the largest and richest company in the Philippines. Therefore, it is FAIR to REINSTATE ALL DISMISSED WORKERS and STOP contractualization inside PRINT TOWN. Pay the workers with a living wage and give them substantial benefits. Moreover, stop any form of harassment which aims to divide and weaken the resolve of the workers. A certain Bong Tamayao who introduced himself as an official representative of Print Town is systematically deceiving the workers to stop the picket protest and to withdraw the case filed before the NLRC in exchange of P10 000.
We call to the Filipino people and to all customers and readers of Print Town and Inquirer Group to stand support the worker’s call and demand to Print Town and Inquirer Group to do what is just and fair for the workers and their family.
Lastly, we believe that what is happening to the workers in Print Town only reflects the destructive effects of labor flexibilization implemented by government such as the Philippines which follows dictates of globalization by giant foreign countries and corporations to ENSURE SUPER PROFITS and the workers are left with nothing.
Hence, we call to fellow workers and people in the Philippines and all over the world, let us continue our fight for decent work and a life with dignity.
Additional Informationa: Please express your support and write protest letters to:
Mr. Benigno Simeon Aquino III
President of the Republic
Malacañang Palace, JP Laurel St., San Miguel Manila Philippines
Voice:(+632) 564 145 to 80 Fax:(+632) 742-1641/ 929-3968
Hon. Rosalinda Baldoz
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Building, Muralla Wing cor. General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila, 1002, Philippines
Marixie Prieto Print Town and Inquirer Management
Main Office Address: Louie R. Prieto Press Building, 3817 Mascardo St. Makati City, Philippines. Telephone: +02 8974386. Laguna Printing Plant: Print Town Complex, Barangay Mamplasan, Binan Laguna, Philippines 4024. Telephone +02 7938888.
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also send your solidarity statements to Print Town workers at:
Melona R. Daclan<br>Campaign Director, Defend Job Philippines<br>Telephone: +63-02-3535760<br>Mobile: +639267856299 and +639289069223<br><br><br>Defend Job Philippines is a member of International Network for Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR Network)