It is of utmost importance for employees to defend their job security and union security. — KMU
By MARYA SALAMAT
MANILA — National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) expressed support today for the strike of the faculty and staff of a nursing college in Davao City. The strike is reportedly prompted by the alleged illegal retrenchment of 11 clinical instructors. According to Elmer “Bong” Labog, chairman of KMU, the retrenchment is meant to bust the union. Among those retrenched is the union’s vice-president.
KMU said the Brokenshire College administration’s justification for the retrenchment is based merely on speculations on the number of incoming students this academic year, which is not consistent with the school’s healthy financial state, as shown by its retained earnings of P170 million and investments of P70 million.
The labor center condemned the college’s administration, headed by Rev. Leopoldo Naive, for failing to uphold the dignity of labor in its pursuit of bigger profits.
“We fully support the struggle of the faculty and staff of Brokenshire College against illegal retrenchment and union busting. They have every right and reason to hold a strike against the school’s administration’s anti-worker moves,” said Labog.
“The Brokenshire College administration’s moves show how capitalists can use the flimsiest of excuses to lay off workers and bust unions and not expect to be rebuffed by the government,” he added.
Government not helping workers
This strike case of employees in a Davao nursing college, which has about a hundred employees, also illustrates an unfortunate trend with the government. Labog said it “shows that even government-sponsored dialogues can be taken advantage of by capitalists to try to intimidate workers into submission.”
The Brokenshire College Faculty and Staff Union, an affiliate of LMU federation, Association of Democratic Labor Organizations, said that while mediation conferences sponsored by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board were ongoing, other clinical instructors were warned of being blacklisted should they join the workers’ strike.
The KMU asked for understanding from the school’s students and their parents, saying the Brokenshire College administration left the workers with no option but to hold a strike.
“Members of the faculty and staff are the last people who want to disrupt a school’s operations,” Labog said. Unfortunately, he said the staff were “pushed to the wall by the school administration.”
“It is of utmost importance for employees to defend their job security and union security,” Labog said. He cited how “even the government’s anti-worker laws are forced to recognize, at least in words, the right of workers to enjoy job security and to form unions.”