SWAT fired a gunshot, guard aimed pistol at worker
An element of the Special Warfare Action Team (SWAT) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) fired a gunshot, while a security guard aimed a gun to one of the workers protesting since this morning in front of the main gate of Calamba Premiere International Park (CPIP), in Barangay Batino, Calamba City, Laguna.
“There was no untoward incident, but the SWAT fired his gun. He is only 30 meters away from us,” according to Arnold Cerdo, vice-president of independent union Sensuous Unified Labor Organization (SULO).
The worker was recognized as Jun Sarcena, 30 years old, married, and a regular employee at Sensuous Lingerie, Incorporated. The security guard refused to give his name and wears no uniform nor an ID.
“Together with other guards, he rushed from the guardhouse, cocked his gun and aimed at us, then to me. He threatened to shoot me,” recalled Sarcena.
The guard backed off when workers faced and negotiated with him.
At around 5:30 this morning, Sensuous workers are supposed to report for the 6AM shift. However, they were told to alight their shuttle buses upon arrival at CPIP main gates. Company Human Resources Development (HRD) staff Maribel Hernandez and Divine Teñedo singled out union officials and active members. Forty-two (42) were not allowed entry and their company IDs confiscated. The workers staged a protest right there and then.
Also present in the scene were armed elements of Calamba City Police and a certain retireed Col. Opeña who owns the Blue Eagle Security Agency in CPIP. Workers also reported suspicious vehicles vying to and fro the CPIP gates and Sensuous compound.
CPIP zone manager Nestor Castilla demanded permit from the workers and threatened to have them dispersed should they remain. He told the workers air their complaints at the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).
Meantime, at past 3PM, more than 100 workers from within the Sensuous premises marched to CPIP main gate in support of their co-workers who were denied entry.
According to the marchers, they joined their co-workers outside after the management announced their termination that day for wearing white protest ribbons in support to the union officers.
“We are unjustly treated by the management, yet we are the ones threatened and harassed,”according to Cerdo.
Cerdo recounted that negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) bogged down on the item of wages May 6, 2008. In this session, company president Andrew Sia himself announced that the company will close down.
However, according to the workers, the company filed to the Bureau of Labor Relations (Region IVA) a “Notice of establishment to reduce work days” on May 6. The company filed only on May 9 their “Notice of closure due to unfavorable business climate”.
CBA negotiations started on October 2007. Six (6) negotiations were held since then.
Cerdo added, “Aside from the means to delay negotiations till the deadlock, and the closure announcement, it is clear that the management aims to run away from its obligations to its workers.”
The union filed a notice of strike to the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) on Mayo 7, 2008 on the grounds of CBA deadlock, non-implementation of Wage Order No. IVA-12, and unfair labor practice.
Sensuous Lingerie Incorporated employs more than 1000 workers and exports abroad expensive brand names such as Victoria’s Secret, Marks and Spencer, Calvin Klein, and Gap.###
- I'm just happy that the
3 hours 57 min ago
- I really do agree with this
4 hours 2 min ago
- Meralco has been increasing
4 hours 2 min ago
- She really shouldn't be
4 hours 27 min ago
- The economy is still very low
4 hours 28 min ago
- This fight is the most
4 hours 54 min ago
- I guess there will never be
4 hours 54 min ago
- That is harassment, really.
5 hours 50 min ago
- Heroes like him come few and
5 hours 51 min ago
- Coming together is a
6 hours 5 min ago