NutriAsia says striking workers are not its employees

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THE WORKERS who have set up a picket outside the Marilao plant of NutriAsia Inc. since Saturday, June 2, are not company employees, the firm said in a statement.

Condiments maker NutriAsia said the workers are employees of B-Mirk Enterprise, Inc., “a legitimate toll packer company” that also provides services to other local and multinational companies.

The company also denounced that the “illegal picket by employees of a third-party toll packer company” has been reinforced by members of militant groups Kadamay, Gabriela, Alyansang Makabayan, Worker Movement for Change and the Kilusang Mayo Uno.

“These 3rd party employees put up a union called Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng NutriAsia, Inc.-Independent Union, and falsely claimed in their filings with the Department of Labor and Employment that they are Nutriasia employees,” the firm said.

On the other hand, the union said in a media advisory that what they are protesting is the dismissal of 50 workers “after clapping their hands in protest when five union members and leaders were unjustly terminated.”

Union President Jessie Gerola, in a text message, said both NutriAsia and B-Mirk made the “illegal dismissal” of the 50 workers because of “simply clapping” in protest.

Mr. Gerola added that NutriAsia imposed the order to bar their access to the plant.

NutriAsia said “management will continue to recognize the right to organize and peaceful assembly,” but “due to the illegal prevention of ingress and egress resulting in the work stoppage and detention of some of our personnel inside the plant, Management has sought has sought police assistance to maintain peace and order at the picket and protect the company’s property and assets.”

It added that it is also “seeking court intervention to order the lifting of the picket.” — Gillian M. Cortez