Military urges people to support PNP, DOLE in Sumifru labor dispute
The military's Eastern Mindanao Command ( Eastmincom) is calling on concerned persons to support the police and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) after scuffles between the Kilusang Mayo Union and workers of Sumifru broke out on Thursday, a spokesman said Saturday.
In a statement, Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, quoting Eastmincom commander Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal said: "Let us support the PNP ( Philippine National Police) and DOLE to implement Court Decisions. We should not allow chaos to reign in this labor dispute, and let us ensure the safety of everyone."
In a text message to the Daily Manila Shimbun, Balagtey said :" No soldiers deployed. We will support the PNP if they cannot handle the situation."
The Eastmincom made this call after the regional DOLE office on Thursday asked for peacekeeping assistance at the Sumifru plantation in Barangay San Miguel in Compostela.
Balagtey said the Kilusang Mayo Uno ( KMU) prevented banana cooperative laborers from working by setting up picket lines in different packing plants.
Balagtey said the first scuffle took place at 10 am on October 11 when KMU regional leaders from Davao and other persons confronted the laborers who want to continue working. Police quickly doused tension, said Balagtey.
The second took place at 12 noon on the same day when laborers asked KMU members to remove their placards and posters and abandon their picket lines to allow workers to enter Sumifru.
Paul John Dizon, head of the Sumifru union, said 16 strikers sustained multiple injuries, with two hospitalized. "We are enraged at the ferocity of the strike dispersal," he said in a statement.
DOLE assumed jurisdiction over the labor dispute which started on October 1. DMS