NutriAsia gives side on dispersal of striking workers

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MARILAO, Bulacan — At around 2:45 pm on July 30, 2018, after 3 days of resumption of operations in the NutriAsia Marilao plant in faithful compliance with DOLE instructions to have the non-striking majority of Toll Packers’ employees (about 1,000 people) return to work, violence erupted when a minority, around 200 striking workers of Toll Packer BMirk and their supporters, fired a shot in the air and started to hurl rocks at police and guards tasked to maintain peace and order in the area.

It is unfortunate that the strikers staged a violent attack while a DOLE-led mediation meeting among stakeholders, including the union organizer, was at the same time ongoing with the objective of seeking a peaceful settlement for the strikers.

Further, the aggressive actions today by the strikers and their sympathizers also directly violated the WRIT OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION issued on July 26, 2018 by the RTC-Malolos which orders the independent workers’ union “and all the other persons acting under its authority, direction or control, during the pendency of this case, to desist and restrain from obstructing the ingress to and egress from the company plant located at 904 Angeles Road MIS 3 Lambakin, Marilao, Bulacan of NutriAsia Inc. Marilao or obstruct thoroughfares leading thereto, including but limited to Dayap Road.

” It is disappointing that the strikers violated the court injunction and interfered with the back to work directive of DOLE for the non-striking majority of workers while the Labor Agency continues to mediate for the striking minority. It is even more disturbing that the strikers had used young children and elderlies, women & students as frontliners and human shields as they pushed their way to barricade the plant entryways.

These children and elderlies, women and students clearly have nothing to do with the labor issue at hand. We believe that they have been misguided to join the strikers in their effort to continue with their illegal picket.

We appeal for calm among the strikers and their supporters and would like to let the public know that the situation is currently in the hands and under control by the Philippine National Police.

We appeal to everyone to comply with the rule of law as we all seek a peaceful resolution.

In line with the above incident, and as part of the police operation to secure peace and order in the area, arrests were made by the police and 19 people were taken into custody composed of strikers, their supporters, and students.

At this time, NutriAsia has no interest in pursuing charges against the students It is also unfortunate that the incident led to some sympathizers being hurt in the process. One of them was an elderly woman. Medical records show that her injury was sustained by a rock hurled at her. This, we believe came from the strikers when they attacked and threw rocks at the guards and police.

This is further corroborated by a statement of an eyewitness who described how the elderly woman sustained her injury. (RONDA Balita Online News)

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