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Workers in Agusan mine go on strike
April 27, 2012

Just a few days before Labor day, more than 300 workers of SR Metals in Tubay, Agusan Del Norte, have gone on strike because management has been ignoring the collective bargaining agreement proposal it submitted several months ago.

“Instead of acting on the CBA proposal, leaders of the SR Metals union, affiliated with the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), have been terminated by management,” said FFW President Atty. Sonny Matula added. 

“Actions like these by mining companies should make the Aquino administration seriously consider its future EOs and other issuances on mining.”

The Union, through the FFW, has filed several cases against SR Metals management at the National Labor Relations Commission in Butuan. These include non-observance of minimum wage, non-remittance of SSS contributions and violation of other labor standards.

SR Metals has also engaged a cooperative to contract out regular jobs and those performed by union members.

“This a common illegal practice by irresponsible management to bust unions and to avoid regularizing workers,” explained Matula. 

"I hail the miners and workers of SR Metals for fighting for their rights and their resolve to strengthen the union," Matula added.

Mining Policy should include respect for workers’ rights

While MalacaƱang has foregone the issuance of an Executive Order that would have increased government take on mining activities while improving safeguards to the environment, the basic issue concerning the working conditions and social protection of people working in mines must be addressed soon.

The FFW urged the Aquino Administration to adopt decent work principles in mining policies. The planned Executive Order was shot down by the President following consultations with groups that are for and against mining last month.

“The government must not only make doing business in the Philippines more efficient but assure that workers’ rights and welfare are protected,” said Matula.
The FFW observed that a number of mining companies do not observe labor standards and exploit workers by contracting out regular jobs.

“Any new policy on mining should give more consideration for workers. As it is some mining companies that are already in operation in the country disregard decent work in mining,” Matula added.

sr-metal-picket
SR Metal picket

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FREE WORKERS

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