On Nakashin’s closure threat

KILUSANG MAYO UNO
Press Statement
14 June 2016

On Nakashin’s closure threat

We condemn the management of Nakashin Davao International, Inc. led by its owner Sumihiro Nakao, for threatening to shut down business in response to workers’ legitimate demands and strike. This threat is aimed at pressuring the government to suppress the strike, turning public opinion against the Nakashin workers, and counter Filipino workers’ struggle against contractualization.

The Nakashin workers’ demands are just and Nakashin is perfectly capable of meeting them. The 75 workers who are asserting their regularization in Nakashin have been working in the company for four to nine years and therefore deserve nothing less, but were illegally retrenched. The long-term contractuals employed by the agencies hired by the company should already be deemed regular employees of Nakashin under the law, but are still being denied regularization.

Even the law states that employees who are performing tasks that are necessary and desirable to the usual business of the company – such as the Nakashin workers who are packers, slicers, cold storage attendants, and receivers – are considered regular employees.

The case of the Nakashin workers exposes the chronic contractualization scheme being carried out by capitalists and the government. While Nakashin employs only a handful regular workers in so-called important positions, it employs almost 300 contractuals for the most important aspects of its business. Nakashin does not recognize the existence of an employer-employee relationship between itself and the workers, despite the latter’s many years of essential service to the company. Even if workers have been working for the company for years, their right to unionize and right to strike were not being recognized.

The Nakashin workers were left by the management and the government with no option but to stand for their right to security of tenure by holding a strike. Nakashin’s refusal to regularize the workers and abide by the law only exposes its crookedness and greediness. As such, it left the workers with no option except to hold a strike. When workers’ basic rights to a minimum wage, regular employment and unionization are not recognized, then holding a strike is most just.

We urge the Nakashin management to abandon its plan and instead face its responsibility and continue negotiating with the workers to come up with a fair settlement. Lastly, we are appealing to incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to step in to this present dispute and come up with a solution that affirms his declaration of scrapping contractualization.

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