In this November 11 photo posted on Defend Job Philippines' Facebook page, Regent Food Workers Union leaders meet with Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto and Rep. Roman Romulo (Pasig City). Union supporters held an indignation rally outside Pasig City Hall.
Facebook/Defend Job Philippines
Regent mulls leaving Pasig after being called out by Vico Sotto
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - November 19, 2019 - 1:33pm

MANILA, Philippines — Regent Foods Corp. is mulling moving its plant away from Pasig City, amid labor row with its employees backed by its Mayor Vico Sotto.

Sotto on Sunday urged the snack corporation to rethink pushing the case against striking workers if they want to “have a healthy relationship” with Pasig City.

"Moving forward, RFC may simply accept its fate that the Pasig City Administration will unjustly make life hard for it and its 400-strong workforce, and contemplate simply bringing its business elsewhere," the company said.

In a statement Tuesday, the company also said it did not order the arrest of workers nor did it participate in the preliminary investigation of the case. It also insisted that the strike was “illegal” and has affected the company’s other workers.

But Defend Job Philippines countered RFC’s statement and said that the “striking workers have been airing out and complaining about the management’s attempt of runaway shop, lockout, union busting, unfair labor practices, contractualization, low wages, unpaid benefits and violations of the workers to union and strike.”

Defend Job Philippines is an alliance of labor unions, workers associations, urban poor groups and sectoral organizations.

Regent Food Workers Union president Tita Cudiamat also noted that Regent’s statement only confirms what prompted the workers to picket, “that the RFC management will implement a runaway shop and lockout of its plant in Pasig City to get rid of the issues we are raising.”

Workers released

 In an earlier statement, Defend Job Philippines workers went on strike to protest physical and verbal abuse of Regent Foods Workers Union officials.

It said workers also went on strike over the alleged contractualization of workers who have been working for the company "for almost 20 years now."

RFC said that they asked Sotto’s office for help to “amicably pacify the situation” but it fell “on deaf ears,” prompting them to avail of services of a private security agency.

But on November 9, the protesters were dispersed in a manner that Defend Job Philippines described as “illegal, violent and overkill.”

The incident led to the arrest of 23 people, including a tricycle driver who was merely watching what was going on.

Mayor Sotto last Sunday recalled the complaint against the 23 was filed by the private security agency, but “the management [has] admitted that they are behind the complaints.”

The neophyte mayor said that Regent’s lawyer, in the end, informed the city government that they will “trust the judicial process.”

He also stressed that the detained workers were merely “fighting for what they believe to be just.”

On Monday, Pasic City Municipal Trial Court Branch 71 ordered the release nine of 23 Regent Foods Corp. workers and their supporters who were arrested on November 9 for complaints of grave coercion, resistance and disobedience and slight physical injury.

PASIG CITY REGENT FOODS CORPORATION VICO SOTTO
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