Philippines: thugs, army and police attack striking Sumitomo banana workers
On October 10, thugs accompanied by members of the army and police again attacked striking packing house workers at Sumitomo’s Sumifru Philippines Corporation (Sumifru) operations in Compostela Valley in Mindinao in an attempt to disperse picket lines. The union has been on strike since October 1 over the company’s refusal to engage in collective bargaining negotiations for more than a decade.
Despite a Supreme Court ruling last year confirming earlier legal decisions that Sumifru is the responsible employer for packing house workers deployed through a labour contractor, the company continues to assert that it has no legal obligation to enter into collective bargaining with the workers’ union NAMASUFA.
The latest violence against workers on the picket lines, accompanied by armed intrusions into workers’ homes, follows similar violence by thugs, army and police personnel on October 3.