Petition for workers on strike at Chong Won Fashion, Inc. and Phils. Jeon Garments, Inc. in Cavite, Philippines sign now

Philippine Economic Zone Authority
(PEZA), San Luis St. Cor. Roxas Blvd.
Pasay City
Tel: (+63 2) 551-34-54/551-34-55
Fax: (+63 2) 891-63-80, 891-64-44,
Email: [email protected]

Dear Director De Lima:

We have written to lodge a strong protest and condemnation for the blatant violations committed by your office on the rights of the striking workers at Chong Won Fashion, Inc. (CWFI) and Phils Jeon Garments Inc. (PJI) both located in the Cavite Export Processing Zone (CEPZ), Rosario, Cavite under your administration and command responsibility.

According to the striking workers, as reported to the Workers Assistance Center, Inc. (WAC), your office had ordered the violent attack on the peaceful strike on September 25 and 27 where more than 40 strikers mostly women sustained head injuries, bruises, and contusions from clubbing. It was reported also that women strikers were assaulted on their private parts by Peza policemen and Jantro security forces to further humiliate them.

Your Office ordered an inhumane food blockade since September 25 to starve the strikers at the CWFI to force them to abandon their strike. The food blockade had caused the arrest and detention of eight workers when they were caught by your police force keeping one sack of rice and other personal belongings for the strikers. The eight workers were now falsely charged with trespassing.

As reported by WAC, the eight workers were from SP Ventures Corporation who had been allowed by PEZA to guard the equipment and machineries in a warehouse inside the Cavite Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) after their Korean-employer shutdown their company in May 2006 and filed insolvency case in the court. While waiting for the resolution of the insolvency proceedings, the presence of the eight workers inside the Cavite Export Processing Zone has been in full knowledge and approval of PEZA since May.

Your Office ordered the confiscation of company identification cards and CEPZs zone pass of all the strikers of CWFI and posted the names of the strikers to ban them from entering the CEPZ, virtually reducing their strength in numbers and make the remaining strikers defenseless in their picket line.

While striking workers were not allowed to enter the CEPZ, your police force is under strict instruction from your office to escort and allow scabs to enter the struck companies. This is a total discrimination in the blatant sense. And we learned that hiring scabs during strike is illegal in your law.

In a violent attack of the striking workers at PJGI on the night of September 27, the workers reported that PEZA police force headed by a certain Surasua were all drunk. They also suspected that several of their attackers were under the influence of prohibited drugs because of their abnormal behavior.

The ill treatment being received by the striking workers from your office is quite alarming. The use of brute force, threat and intimidation, in resolving the labor-management conflict in favor of the struck companies is highly condemnable to a country claiming to have subscribed to democratic ideals and principles.

We valued much the contribution of the workers in the development of the society. We believed that their rights shall at all times be protected and upheld by the government.

As a human rights/workers rights organization/institution, we are with the striking workers in urging your office in their demands to stop:

1. The use of brute force and shameful connivance of PEZA with the Korean owners of CWFI and PJGI in denying the full exercise of the workers rights to strike and to bargain collectively;
2. The inhumane food blockade and PEZA should allow free entry of food supplies to the strikers picket line;
3. The denial of entry of the strikers through checkpoints, confiscation of company identification cards (IDs) and CEPZs zone pass, and blacklisting in order to reduce the strength in numbers of the strikers;
4. The supplying and escorting of scabs inside the factories to replace the strikers and run the operations of the struck companies; and
5. The illegal subcontracting of the Wal-mart order in CWFI to Jeshurun Fashion Intl. Corp. also in CEPZ;

Also, we urge the following:

6. Drop all fabricated charges and unconditionally release the eight workers, namely: Gemma Lape, Ivy Villasan, Lorna Reli, Josephine Bajar, Pablito Zapanta, Annalou Estremos, Rodel Amo, and Glaiza Leysi.
7. Bring the Korean owners of the CWFI and PJI face-to-face with the workers in the negotiating table;
8. Return the illegally-confiscated or stolen personal materials such as one sack of rice, cell phones, and camera to the workers;
9. Make appropriate actions against PEZA personnel Atty. Jane Arada for her conduct unbecoming of an officer or for her bad manners and wrong conduct towards the strikers;
10. And, subject the PEZA Police force and Jantro guards to drug testing.

We are hoping that your office will safeguard the rights of the workers and will take the necessary and prompt action regarding the matters we have raised here. Please update us regarding the actions you have so far taken regarding this case. Thank you very much!


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Ursula MullinsBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
Director-General lawyer Lilia B. De Lima of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)


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