The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights is writing to you to seek your support for 293 of oil palm workers who were unjustly dismissed and were refused to go back to work following the lifting of strike last February 1 of nearly 1,000 workers of Filipinas Palmoil Plantations Inc. (FPPI)
These 293 workers were previously employed as casual employees in FPPI for as much as 30 years until an ocular inspection was conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on October 23 as a result of the union’s long campaign against unjust working conditions in the plantation. The inspection’s initial findings released on October 25 confirmed the company’s massive violations of labor standards. In an apparent retaliatory move, the management dismissed one by one all workers interviewed by DOLE in their inspection except a few (11) who agreed to sign a waiver. This action of the management prompted the workers’ union to launch a strike on November 27, which lasted until January 31 nearly two weeks after the Secretary of Labor assumed jurisdiction over the strike.
Issues of long term contractualization, CBA violations and child labor also hound the oil palm company. Two months hence, the DOLE is still reluctant to hold the company liable for its clear violations of the law.