PUP janitors get job back after long strike
School janitors don’t just clean up rooms. They can also help get rid of “dirty” labor practices.
This was the message of an Aglipayan priest in a thanksgiving Mass held yesterday at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) campus in Sta. Mesa, Manila, to mark the end of the long-running protest by the school’s subcontracted janitors who were laid off in February.
Rev. Fr. Antonio Tayco congratulated the members of Samahang Janitors ng PUP (SJPUP) for their reinstatement, citing their unity and resolve in fighting for their rights.
The PUP board of regents has approved a contract with Sparrow, the new manpower agency that agreed to absorb the 152 dismissed janitors, SJPUP president Rey Cagomoc told the Inquirer.
The janitors, some of whom had been working for decades at PUP, lost their jobs in February after the agency Carebest did not absorb them.
Two failed biddings for a new agency prolonged the janitors’ plight.
Under president Emmanuel de Guzman, PUP finally entered into a negotiated contract with Sparrow, allowing the janitors to start working again on Sept. 16, Cagomoc said.
He said his group would take appropriate actions to compel former PUP officer in charge Estelita dela Rosa to pay them for the seven months they were out of work.
Cagomoc said that because of the retrenchment some of them had been evicted from their rented homes and were forced to set up makeshift shelters on campus grounds.
“Some of us also stopped sending our children to school, and when the storms came we can’t avail ourselves of Pag-Ibig calamity loans because our payments were stopped,” he said.
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