05.Nov.03    Análisis y Noticias

Workers support call for boycott of products made by
Danding Cojuangco’s companies

Striking workers from Cosmos Bottling Corporation, La Tondena Distilleries Inc. in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan and Campo Carne in Laguna, supported the call for the boycott of various products manufactured by companies owned by business tycoon and political crony Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco.

“He managed to reach the summit of wealth and power by trampling on the rights and welfare of thousands of workers in SMC. Now he’s using his political clout within the Arroyo administration to strengthen his control over SMC and work against all attempts to prosecute him for his corrupt activities among which is his illegal acquisition of SMC shares by using up the coconut levy fund allotted for small coconut farmers.”

Workers from the three companies under the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) conglomerate are now under labor dispute with the SMC management. They asserted that they have all the reasons to call for boycott on Cojuangco’s companies.

“We regard Danding as a scheming and oppressive employer. He gravely suppressed our right for substantial wages, job security and union rights. We worked hard and devoted many years for the growth of SMC but instead of giving what is due to us, he utilized various ways to impose inferior wages and benefits. He even battered our unions by intensifying repressive anti-union measures.”

Meanwhile, KMU Secretary General Joel Maglunsod said they support the campaign for the boycott of Danding Cojuangco’s companies and products. “We loathe Danding as much as we despise President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. They are both enemies of the working class.”

The labor group encouraged other labor centers, consumer groups and concerned citizens to join and propagate the boycott campaign.
Filipinos do not stand to benefit from LAKAS-NPC politicking
Collusion of corrupt Gloria-Danding forces must be frustrated

As the House of Representatives try to forge a ‘principled resolution’ on the controversial impeachment raps against Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno today said in a press conference that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco must be held liable for this grand conspiracy aimed at clearing all obstacles to their political and economic agenda in 2004 and beyond.

KMU Secretary General Joel Maglunsod said that the two most corrupt elements in the country are now conspiring to benefit their selfish interests. “The so-called ‘constitutional reconciliation’ between pro and anti-Davide impeachment solons and Nationalist People’s Coalition’s threat to unseat House Speaker Joe De Venecia all the more shows their scheme to remove Davide as Chief Justice and place Reynato Puno as head of the Supreme Court. Puno is a known pro-Danding figure in the judiciary department, his son sits as Assistant Vice President of San Miguel Corporation.”

“Even if President Arroyo continues to distance herself from the controversy, the collusion between her and Cojuangco is evident. Only Mrs. Arroyo has the political motive and interest to accommodate scrupulous maneuvers commenced by Cojuangco’s political camp, the Nationalist People’s Coalition. As Chief Executive, Arroyo has the capacity to decisively intervene on the issue, but instead of resolving the problem at hand, she placed herself as a mere spectator on the growing dispute over Davide’s impeachment. She’s abiding to Danding’s every power tripping fancy only to gain advantage of the business tycoon’s plump financial and political contribution to her presidential bid.”

Maglunsod asserted said that the crisis brought by the collusion between Danding and Gloria only brought more hardship for ordinary workers and the Filipino people in general. “Far more important issues are needed to be addressed. The severe corruption in the entire bureaucracy further presses down the economic condition of workers and poor sectors. While majority of the country’s population suffer in deep poverty and hunger, corrupt government officials and politicians splurge on their loot from the national treasury.”

Danding’s ultimate goal: Win coco levy case and preseve stakes at SMC

Meanwhile, San Miguel Corporation workers union, Ilaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa-KMU said that behind Danding’s maneuverings is his intention to protect and expand his business interests and to junk the coco levy case and attempts of government sequestration of SMC.

IBM-KMU Chairman and KMU Deputy Secretary General William Merene said Danding benefited greatly from the coco levy fund that he illegally acquired for being a solid business and political crony. The SMC employees union welcomed the latest move from the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to restore sequestration bid on the 20 percent government stake on the P100 billion worth SMC shares. “Danding must pay for his crimes against thousands of poor coconut farmers and workers.”

On the other hand, various labor unions under dispute with the SMC management are taking the lead in calling for the boycott of products manufactured by Cojuangco’s companies. The Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Manggagawa sa La Tondena Sta. Barbara, Bukluran ng Manggagawa ng Monterey, San Miguel Campo Carne Independent Union and Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Cosmos-San Miguel, whose workers are all on strike encouraged the public to stop buying Cojuangco’s products.
Oil companies took advantage of the public’s preoccupancy with Davide controversy
Unjustified and unacceptable oil price hikes a cause for national outrage — KMU

The militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno today denounced the latest oil price hikes imposed by oil companies led by Pilipinas Shell, Caltex and Petron as they troop to the offices of the Big Three in Makati.

The new price adjustments amounted to 40 centavos per liter of diesel and gasoline while prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gasoline were also raised by P11 per 11 kilogram cylinder. Oil companies blamed the steep increase in world crude oil prices as the reason for the latest increase.

KMU Secretary General Joel Maglunsod equated the latest price adjustment enforced by oil companies to an outright robbery in broad daylight. “While the public are preoccupied with the controversial impeachment case against Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., these greedy oil companies deviously inched their way to implement another burdensome increase in the prices of petroleum products. This new price hike is totally unacceptable, baseless and unfair. These oil companies’ only concern is their profit margins, they do not care whether the public can bear the new price hikes or not.”

The labor leader further said that oil companies still owe much to the public with their previous overpricing on oil products. “Oil companies don’t give consideration at all when consumers are asking for price rollbacks, but when they need to jack up prices, they make it appear that their businesses are hurting financially.”
Maglunsod asserted that this new price hike is totally unjustified. “Executives of oil companies are using every alibi they can think of to give reason for imposing more price hikes. This is reason enough to cause nationwide
outrage from consumers and concerned sectors.”

The KMU leader said that consumers will be greatly affected with the P11 per cylinder increase in LPG prices. LPG is considered a socially-sensitive product due to its wide use for households and comercial establishments and industries. How can the oil companies expect poor consumers to cope with more price hikes? Wage earners are more concerned now with their dwindling wages and benefits. Workers are uncertain if they will receive Christmas bonuses and incentives from their employers.”

Maglunsod also blamed the Department of Energy (DOE) and Malacanang for this new price hike. “President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo got herself accustomed to frequent price hikes imposed by oil companies. Malacanang had been totally useless in preventing oppressive oil price hikes. Arroyo only served her purpose as a loyal patron to profit-hungry oil companies.”

The labor group vowed to launch more protests against the latest price hikes.