Since June 2, NutriAsia workers installed their picket line outside the company’s factory in Marilao, Bulacan following the illegal dismissal of around 70 workers. The workers also demanded for regularization, decent wages, humane working conditions, and recognition of their union, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Nutriasia.
On June 16, student groups from University of the Philippines Diliman and Manila, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of Sto. Tomas and College of Saint Benilde among others trooped to NutriAsia to show support for the workers.
Youth and labor groups also called for the dropping of physical injury and assault charges filed against 23 workers who were arrested during the June 14 dispersal.
NutriAsia is the producer, marketer and distributor of condiments Datu Puti, Silver Swan, Mang Tomas, Jufran, Papa Banana Catsup, UFC, cooking oil Golden Fiesta and beverage products Locally. The company is owned by Joselito Campos, Sr, whose family reportedly had a $650 million net worth. Only 100 of 1,400 workers are said to be contractual, according to the workers seeking regularization.
— NUSP (@NUSPhilippines) June 10, 2018
Scores were hurt following the dispersal and 23 were arrested, including a Senior High School student from Lyceum of the Philippines University who was reported to be documenting the dispersal.
“KUYA WALA PO AKONG GINAGAWANG MASAMA”
— Lucky E. Dela Rosa (@delarosalucky1) June 14, 2018
UPDATE: On their 10th day of strike, NutriAsia (@asia_nutri) workers were harassed and violently dispersed by the police. 18 individuals were arrested, including a student. At least 4 were brought to a hospital. #SupportNutriAsiaWorkers pic.twitter.com/CZzgEPOzn7
— NUSP (@NUSPhilippines) June 14, 2018
News of the forced dispersal of the workers’ picketline broke out on social media platform Twitter as it happened on June 14.
Police forces have violently dispersed the picket. Some workers and residents nearby (minors included) were identified wounded and hit by the policemen’s truncheons and ratan sticks. Workers and supporters, including students, were also arrested. pic.twitter.com/yO7apXHeWX
— League of Filipino Students (@LFSPhilippines) June 14, 2018
Calls for support for the workers gained more ground as photos of bloodied workers in the police dispersal spread online.
The Sanggunian vehemently condemns the unlawful and violent dispersal of NutriAsia workers by the Philippine National Police this afternoon. Donations may be dropped off at MVP 200.#OurSanggu pic.twitter.com/G7MOgL2GYG
— ADMU Sanggunian (@ADMUSanggu) June 14, 2018
Attention Batch 2021! Donations for the Nutriasia workers are currently being accepted. Each hand lent in support will be duly appreciated
You may give your donation to any member of the CGL until Friday. pic.twitter.com/V8eDdyC9ii
— QCSHS SSG-CGL 21 (@SSG_CGL21) June 16, 2018
The USC stands with the NutriAsia workers in their fight for just and humane working conditions, and for proper enforcement of their rights.
— UP Diliman USC (@USCUPDiliman) June 15, 2018
As Engineers for the Nation, we believe that the manufacturing industry must produce not just for profit but also for people. We stand with the NutriAsia workers for regularization, humane working conditions, and fair wages.#StandWithWorkers#BoycottNutriAsia#EndEndo pic.twitter.com/8cEqGVBea4
— UP ARISE (@up_arise) June 16, 2018
STATEMENT: The cornerstone of LGBTQIA+ rights is human rights. Just as we spoke out against martial law, we #RiseUpTogether to speak out against the gross violation of rights through inhumane labor practices and the violence inflicted by state forces on the NutriAsia strikers. pic.twitter.com/TLF4afYAnj
Metro Manila Pride (@mmprideorg) June 16, 2018
UP AITSC invites everyone to join the masses in their fight for job security, rights, and benefits as we call on the current administration to end all forms of contractualization.
— AIT Student Council (@up_aitsc) June 17, 2018
UST Hiraya vehemently condemns the mistreatment and economic injustice that NutriAsia has brought upon its workers. In line with this, we ask everyone to show their support by giving donations for the NutriAsia workers on strike.#ItStartsWithUs#SupportNutriAsiaWorkers pic.twitter.com/kYvjqPjCVc
— UST Hiraya (@hiraya_ust) June 17, 2018
STATEMENT: We stand firm in our belief that workers of NutriAsia and other exploitative corporations have suffered for far too long. We must rise up and join our laborers in their fight for just compensation, humane working environment, and the right to organize. pic.twitter.com/Ayyqa2BgVK
— ADNU-SSG (@adnussgofficial) June 17, 2018
Calls for boycott of NutriAsia products also went viral.
List of NutriAsia food brands we should boycott.
Datu Puti & Silver Swan -> Marca Piña
Mang Tomas -> Mama Sitas Sarsa
UFC & Papa -> Jufran
Golden Fiesta -> Spring Oil
Locally -> Zest-O#EndEndoNow #SupportNutriAsiaWorkers #StandWithWorkers #BoycottNutriAsia pic.twitter.com/uaG6PNB1dD
— Daddy Bien (@BienCab) June 14, 2018
Ang #NutriAsia ang manufacturer ng Mang Tomas and other condiments. How only a little more than 100 of 1,000 workers involved in core business are regulars is anyone’s guess.
May claim ang govt na tigil endo. Nag assert ang workers.
Dispersed in a bloody, brutal operation. pic.twitter.com/lSd33VMSDt
— inday espina varona (@indayevarona) June 14, 2018
Netizens also assailed corporate media lack of coverage on the ongoing struggle of the workers in NutriAsia even after the dispersal. Some also hit the silence of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) days after the strike and the dispersal.
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