Workers of Fort Steel Cargo Integrators, Inc. staged a rally in front of the regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to protest the “connivance” between Holcim and DOLE XI that resulted to mass termination.
According to Joel Bañas of Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro), contracts of over 100 workers were terminated without prior notice Monday night with a DOLE XI representative as witness.
Bañas said DOLE, as the concerned government agency that implements rules on employment, “should settle labor disputes and not to act as agent of the employers to harass the workers.”
“That is not the role of DOLE,” Bañas said.
Fort Steel Cargo Integrators, Inc. is said to be a contractor of Holcim, a Switzerland-originated cement company that has a local operation based in Bunawan.
Workers were reportedly threatened by the security officers to leave the premises of Holcim on Monday night.
They decried the “unexpected termination” as they were allegedly informed already by the human resources officers for the possibility of being regularized anytime soon.
The workers were said to have been working with Holcim for over a decade. Some worked for over 30 years.
Holcim has prepared an “skeletal force” to replace the terminated workers for a smooth continued operation, according to Nelson Satur, president of the Davao Holcim Employees and Workers Union (DAHEWU).
DAHEWU and Sentro, together with the terminated workers, are planning to initiate a dialogue with City Mayor Sara Duterte as their next step to resolve the issue.