There's Blood in Your Coffee

Sunday, December 14, 2008

NESTLE KILLS WORKERS!!! Labor leader arrested

Nestle workers’ Laguna picket dispersed

Labor leader arrested

By Maricar Cinco
Southern Luzon Bureau

Phil.Daily Inquirer
First Posted 16:55:00 12/11/2008

CAMP VICENTE LIM, Laguna -- A labor leader was arrested after a picket staged by Nestlé Philippines workers in Cabuyao, Laguna was dispersed twice early Thursday morning, police said.

In a phone interview, Superintendent Moises Pagaduan, Cabuyao police chief, confirmed the arrest of Noel Alemania, vice president of the Union of Filipino Employees and deputy secretary general of the Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (Pamantik, Unity of Workers in Southern Tagalog).
Pagaduan said at least 52 workers staged what he described as an illegal picket at the front gate of Nestlé Philippines .

"There had been attempts for peaceful negotiations for workers to leave before the police dispersed the protesters at around 2:30 a.m. ," he said.

"The police asked us to move to the side and we did. But just after a few minutes, we were dispersed with [water] cannons," the 43-year-old Alemania said.

He said most of the workers were elderly and weak.

"We were already 100 meters away from where we originally picketed but they still fired water at us," Alemania said.

The labor group reported two incidents of dispersal -- the first at about 1:15 a.m. , and then at 2:30 a.m.

It said there were about 100 heavily armed elements of the Calabarzon ( Cavite , Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) police Regional Mobile Group and Cabuyao police.

Alemania was taken to the Biñan Regional Trial Court Thursday morning for inquest on charges of illegal assembly, alarm and scandal, and resisting arrest.

Hermie Marasigan, spokesman of Pamantik, said the workers staged the protest to assert a November 28 order by the Department of Labor for Nestlé Philippines to return to negotiations for their collective bargaining agreement.

He said they would hold an indignation rally tonight in Cabuyao to condemn the dispersal and Alemania’s arrest.

At around 1 p.m. Thursday, Alemania was brought back to the Cabuyao police station pending a temporary release order to be signed by the provincial prosecutor.

A preliminary investigation is scheduled on January 9 next year, Marasigan said.

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