Bello: Kadamay, not NutriAsia workers, to blame for violent dispersal
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III is blaming members of militant group Kadamay for causing the violent dispersal of protesters at a NutriAsia factory in Marilao, Bulacan.
Bello said there was already an ongoing mediation between the workers and the condiment giant when Kadamay members had reportedly meddled.
“Meron nang ongoing conciliation. Nagkagulo dahil pumasok ‘yung Kadamay. Hindi naman workers ‘yun. Hindi NutriAsia ‘yun. Kadamay ang pumasok dyan,” the Labor chief told reporters at Malacañang on Wednesday.
No employee hurt
Bello said that there was no report to him that any of the NutriAsia employees were hurt during the dispersal.
“Wala,” Bello said. “‘Di naman mga empleyado ‘yan. Walang na-report sa akin (na sugatan na empleyado).”
“Ang nanggugulo diyan ang Kadamay. ‘Di naman sila empleyado ng NutriAsia,” he stressed. “Kung ‘di lang pumasok ang Kadamay, dapat ‘di nagkagulo.”
Setting aside Kadamay’s alleged meddling, Bello said that he was optimistic that the labor issues between the employees and the NutriAsia management would be resolved.
“Very bright ang prospects. Anytime now, magkakaroon ng conciliation. Kaunti na lang. Dalawang issue na lang ‘di napagkakasunduan. Separation pay at increase (sa salary),” Bello said. “Anytime this week, mare-resolve iyan.”
“We can go into the process of conciliation kasi kaunti na lang naiwan na issue, eh involving na lang 273 workers,” the Labor chief also said.
NutriAsia workers went on strike to protest the alleged labor-only contracting, low wages, and poor working conditions. They also called for the reinstatement of dismissed union leaders.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has issued a regularization order against NutriAsia, but its workers are saying that the company has yet to implement it.
Senator Joel Villanueva had called on his colleagues to look into the regularization issues against the condiment giant.
“We need to investigate because these cases highlight the weaknesses of our current regulatory framework,” Villanueva said in a statement on Tuesday, July 31. /je
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