Kentex workers: Where is justice?

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“How can we survive when we have nothing?”

By CHRISTINE CABANATAN
Bulatlat.com

MANILA, Philippines – “We seek for justice. We demand for financial support and most importantly for work to fulfill the needs of our family. What is the government’s plan for us? How can we survive when we have nothing?” Catherine Rivera, one of the workers of Kentex, said in an interview while she and co-workers were filing labor cases against the company at the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).

Rivera, 30, had worked for one year at Kentex. Two of her siblings died in the May 13 fire that gutted the factory. She said she received “insufficient financial support.”

Along with her co-workers, Rivera said they are still saddened and pained because of what happened to their family members. For them, she said, she and her co-workers wanted to get what is just.

“The government should be doing something for us. Actually, we should not be appealing to them because they are accountable. Some of our family members died, but we are still alive and they are acting like we had also died — we still have to provide for our families, but how can we achieve that without having a job?” she said in Filipino.

After the tragic fire, she said, they only received P13,700 ($307.80) plus a bag of groceries.

“What are we going to do with this meagre support they handed us? Considering it is almost school opening, what about the education of our children? How can we support them? She asked.

Rivera said the factory fire left her traumatized. But, she added, she still prefers to continue working despite what she experienced. She said she has to earn for their keep. ()

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