Some 100 retrenched workers in one of the biggest tuna exporters in the country entered into its third year of protest demanding just compensation from the General Santos City-based company.
Members of the Alliance of Progressive Labor-Sentro in Socsksargen (APL-Sentro), led by secretary general Herbert Demos, slammed Citra Mina Group of Companies (CMGC) for “inhuman policies and continuing human rights violations”.
“Tuna Industry rejects sustainable fisheries and Citra Mina savage rights’ violations now become part of Industry’s customary practices. This is a frightening development within the fishing industry here in General Santos City,” Demos said.
The workers were terminated in 2013 to stop them from forming a labor union.
Meanwhile, General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said they could not intervene since the Department of Labor is the right agency to look into the problem between the CMGC management and the retrenched workers.
“We’ve been also trying to talk with the management of the CMGC to consider some options for the workers demands and ask for a win-win solution,” Rivera said.
Demos also claimed that owners of fishing companies in GenSan enjoy zero tariff rates under the Generalized System of Preferences-Plus granted by the European Union (EU), but are blatantly violating EU conditions for GSP-Plus by institutionalizing slave-like conditions of workers.
The APL-Sentro members vowed to continue their protest actions against the CMGC until their demands are granted.