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Stand in solidarity with the NutriAsia workers

By staff

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression NYC.

We in the Committee to Stop FBI Repression NYC stand in solidarity with the NutriAsia workers, who are currently under attack by the Philippine National Police.

NutriAsia workers are facing unsafe conditions with temperatures reaching more than 40 degrees celsius (100 F) inside the bottling and packing stations, while the products are hotter than 95 degrees celsius (200 F); the safety gear and equipment are substandard and inadequate. Work-related accidents such as second-degree burns and bone fractures can lead victims to be fired, thus workers hide their injuries. 100 workers are regularly-employed but more than 1400 are contractual; the labor union is unrecognized and prohibited.

Organizers encourage people to boycott NutriAsia condiments, which are popular at Filipino dinner tables and households; these include UFC, Silver Swan, Datu Puti, Papa, Golden Fiesta, Jufran, Locally, and Mang Tomas brands, to be found in Asian supermarkets or stores here in New York. Joselito D. Campos Jr. is the owner of NutriAsia, the CEO of Del Monte Pacific, the son of UniLab founder Beatrice Campos, and his sister, Jocelyn, currently chairs UniLab; their family’s net worth is $650 million as of 2017.

NutriAsia employees work 12-16 hrs a day for just $7 (P380 per day); while the company earns $500,000 daily (P37 million) per product line, it pays just 5 minutes out of 12 hrs of work and only P3000 (< $60) as a Christmas bonus.

Workers have faced repression and violence in retaliation for exercising their right to picket against their own exploitation; at least nineteen protesters have been arrested in Marilao, Bulacan one week ago July 30th, with others going missing or unaccounted for, which include workers, youth leaders, journalists, and supporters. About 50 NutriAsia security guards and 20 PNP members violently attacked and injured hundreds in Marilao and Meycauayan.

As an organization that stands against political repression, we understand the importance of those who are oppressed to speak out. Our organization was started after the FBI raided and subpoenaed 23 anti-war and labor activists, and we are still defending current political organizers who are being repressed. Wherever there is push back against capitalism and US imperialism, there is repression of those who speak out, especially considering how much journalists are targeted.

It is no surprise that these actions have taken place under the Duterte government, in cooperation with the Trump administration. Duterte’s regime has been targeting, arresting, and murdering labor and human rights activists in the Philippines. All of this is funded by the US, because it is crucial for the imperialists to oppress workers both here and abroad.

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression NYC lends its support to the NutriAsia workers; we will continue to stand with workers and activists in the Philippines until they achieve liberation.

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