NutriAsia strikers released from jail in Bulacan
MANHATTAN — Nineteen NutriAsia strikers and supporters, including 5 journalists,
were released from jail in Bulacan last night.
“Our case is converted to preliminary investigation so there’s still charges against us,” said Einstein Recedes. “Physical injury, illegal assembly, alarm and scandal.”
Racedes and Mark Quinto were among those who were arrested on July 30 after NutriAsia guards and local police violently dispersed the picket line outside the company’s ground.
“Binugbog po kasi kami hinampas kami nang sticks masakit po ang aming katawan but we’re in good spirits. Tuloy po ang labanpara sa mag workers.
Altermedya journalists Eric Tandoc and his wife Hiya Saturay from Long Beach, California were there covering the two-month long standoff between NutriAsia and its workers. They also still face illegal assembly charges but the Bulacan provincial prosecutor dismissed the physical injuries charges against them.
An immediate outcry led to protests in California and New York.
“Actually this is the second time that the police has violently attacked and dispersed the workers for simply demanding and fighting for their rights against contractualization,” said Gary Labao. “Even the department of labor have already for this company to regularize its workers so these workers are fighting for that right to be regularized.”
NutriAsia said in a statement that the protest turned violent when a shot was fired, and rocks were thrown at police.
Meanwhile, activists say there are ways to support the workers in the Philippines.
“We strongly urge to please share the statements from the NutriAsia workers on social media and really study and talk about in your community the issue of contractualization and the need for regularization — because that’s the main issue the workers have been struggling for, for months really, for years,” said Mike Legaspi.
“One way for us to be able to help and assist the workers in the Philippines of NutriAsia is to participate in this boycott. kung pwede lang po muna huwag muna tayong bumili nang mga produkto nila at makiisa tayo sa kanilang pakikibaka.”
NutriAsia’s products include Datu Puti, Mang Tomas, UFC, Papa, and Jufran.