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Pasig City mayor Sotto leaves harsh warning vs Zagu management

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto (FILE PHOTO)

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto slammed the management of a certain pearl-shake maker and told the company to follow labor laws following the protest of its workers on Monday, July 8.

In a video posted by Sotto on his official Facebook page, the Mayor can be seen talking with an administrator at Zagu’s factory in Barangay Kapitolyo moments after the fiasco. He negotiated the management by defending the workers’ right to organize as a union and stage a protest.

“Karapatan nila na nakasaad sa batas, ine-exercise po nila nang maayos. Huwag ‘nyo sila pagbawalan na mag-strike. Karapatan nila ‘yon,”  Sotto said.

The Zagu unionist workers, composed of Zagu sellers, drivers, sales and delivery, and production staff, have been on a strike since June 6 in order to raise the management’s “illegal labor-only contracting and unfair labor practices.” They claim that only 46 of 600 Zagu Foods Corporation workers are regular employees and that the management failed to reach an agreeable offer after five months of negotiation facilitated by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board.

Sotto then called out Zagu for its unfair labor practices.

“Hindi nangyari ito kung wala kayong mga empleyado na 10+ taon na, pero kontraktwal pa rin. Hindi nagkaroon ng strike kung nakipag-negosyasyon kayo nang maayos,” he said in the post.

“SUMUNOD KAYO SA BATAS. GALANGIN NIYO ANG MGA KARAPATAN NG INYONG MANGGAGAWA,” he emphasized.

Here is the complete post of Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto in his Facebook account: 

Mahigit isang buwan nang naka-strike ang unyon ng mga manggagawa ng ZAGU. Nakatanggap ako ng report na may naganap na karahasan sa picket line, kaya’t pumunta ako.

Kinausap ko ang mga tao ng management at binigyan ko sila ng pagkakataong ipaliwanag kung bakit sinusubukan nilang paalisin ang mga nagwewelga. Ang sagot ng admin-in-charge, pinapatupad lang daw nila ang TRO ng NLRC — ngunit malinaw naman sa TRO na puwedeng ipagpatuloy ang strike basta’t hindi ito nakaharang sa pagpasok/paglabas sa Zagu Foods Corp. (nasa gilid lang ang picket line kung saan naganap ang insidente.)

SA MAY-ARI AT MANAGEMENT NG ZAGU

Hindi nangyari ito kung wala kayong mga empleyado na 10+ taon na, pero kontraktwal pa rin. Hindi nagkaroon ng strike kung nakipag negosyasyon kayo ng maayos. 5 buwan na ito sa NCMB, wala pa rin kayong maayos na offer/counter-offer. Bakit kailangang umabot sa karahasan?

SUMUNOD KAYO SA BATAS. GALANGIN NIYO ANG MGA KARAPATAN NG INYONG MANGGAGAWA.

“Ayaw kong makakarinig ako ulit na pinapaalis niyo ang nagsa-strike. Idaan natin sa tamang proseso,” the young mayor said in a Facebook video posted on Wednesday.

[Translation: I never want to hear that you asked the protesting workers to leave. Let’s go with due process.]

Sotto visited the workers on strike on Monday after they were allegedly forced to leave Zagu factory premises. He said that based on the temporary restraining order released by the National Labor Relations Commission, the workers are allowed to hold a picket as long as they don’t block the factory’s gates. He added he will remind the workers to respect that.

Members of Zagu Workers Union (ORGANIZA-SUPER) have been holding a picket line outside the factory in Pasig since June 6. They are protesting against Zagu’s alleged illegal labor-only contracting. The union went on strike after the union and management failed to reach an agreeable offer after five months of negotiation facilitated by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board.

The mayor also criticized Zagu — which has over 500 stores nationwide — for its unfair labor practices.

“Hindi nangyari ito kung wala kayong mga empleyado na 10+ taon na, pero kontraktwal pa rin. Hindi nagkaroon ng strike kung nakipag-negosyasyon kayo nang maayos,” he said in the post.

Sotto emphasized, “SUMUNOD KAYO SA BATAS. GALANGIN NIYO ANG MGA KARAPATAN NG INYONG MANGGAGAWA.”

[Translation: This wouldn’t have happened if you regularized your employees. They have served you for more than 10 years and yet they are still contractual workers. This wouldn’t have happened if you negotiated properly. Follow the law. Respect the rights of your workers.]

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