December 8, 2008
The national federation of teaching, culture and vocational training, Fédération Nationale de l’Enseignement, de la Culture et de la Formation Professionnelle, de la Confédération Générale du Travail - Force Ouvrière (FNEC FP-FO), affiliated to the CGT- Force Ouvrière confederation, has been informed of the alarming situation prevailing at Nueva Ecija Universty in the Philippines.
In a press conference, the Wesleyan University-Philippines Faculty and Staff Association (WUPFSA-LAGMAN) denounced the interference and harassment by the military in their labor dispute.
According to WUPFSA-LAGMAN, a certain Sgt. Edgar Dimalanta of the Civil Affairs Office of the 71st Infantry Division of the Philippine Army has been issuing veiled threats, and pressuring union officers and even some union members to force them to sit down with him for a meeting he had convened.
In a recent incident last November 25, Sgt. Dimalanta told Engr. Melquiades Guevarra, the union vice-president, that military men will visit them in their homes after the latter refused the former's invitation to meet the union executive committee.
Corazon Gonzalez, President of the Union declared: "The circumstances clearly show that Sgt. Dimalanta is being used by the university administration headed by Atty. Guillermo T. Maglaya in his effort to bust the union and sabotage negotiations for a collective agreement."
The right to join the union of one's own choosing, the right to negotiate collective agreements are inalienable rights enshrined in ILO conventions 87 and 98 which are recognized at the international level.
We, FNEC FP-FO express our solidarity with the staff of the university of the Philippines fighting with their union for a collective agreement.
Wesleyan University-Philippines Faculty and Staff Association must be able to exert these rights without any interference from the military nor from any authority whatsoever.