There's Blood in Your Coffee

Monday, August 23, 2010


Pls. click the link to view pics.

(Excerpt from Nestle Workers' Letter to PNoy)

August 16, 2010

His Excellency Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III
Republic of the Philippines

Dear Mr. President:

More than eight (8) years have now passed since we, the more than 600 employees at the Cabuyao factory of Nestlé Philippines, Inc. went on strike to enforce our right to negotiate the retirement benefits. The Supreme Court’s repeated rulings in our favour on this issue have failed to render justice, as the Swiss multinational food company continues to defy the court’s decisions.

The Cabuyao factory workers and our union launched our strike on January 14, 2002, forced into it by Nestlé management and its deliberately provocative position demanding the exclusion of the issue of retirement benefits from the CBA negotiations as a matter subject to unilateral determination by management.

This position blatantly defied a ruling of the Supreme Court handed down in February 1991 (and later upheld on appeal), in which the court concluded: “The Court agrees with the NLRC’s [National Labor Relations Commission] findings that the Retirement Plan was a collective bargaining issue from the start ...”

Several days after the strike vote on November 22, 2001, Patricia A. Santo Tomas, then-Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), granted the company's petition for a notorious "assumption of jurisdiction" order, arbitrarily placing the dispute into the hands of the state and its apparatus of repression.

On January 16, 2002, Sto. Tomas issued a Return to Work Order; on January 18, 2002, Sto. Tomas issued a Police Deputation Order, ordering the Philippine National Police (PNP) to send in their units; and on January 28, 2002, more than 1,000 combined forces of PNP, Military and Blue Guards violently dispersed the picket line set up by the striking workers at the factory gate.

During a trip to Switzerland to the ILO Conference in June 2001, Sto. Tomas enjoyed limousine services that billed a total of 9,000 Swiss Francs or P316,000 courtesy of Nestle-Philippines, Inc. Documents uncovered by the UFE reveal that Nestlé paid for her chauffeur services and the Mercedes Benz for a shopping trip to Milan, Italy from Geneva from June 15 to 16, 2001.
The protracted labor-management conflict has been marked by a militarization of the factory and the violent dispersal of the workers’ picket lines and protests at the factory gate and elsewhere by the...(you can read or download the whole letter here,you can also read or download UFE's letter to DOJ Sec. De Lima here)