12 Years of Struggle of TMPCWA against Illegal Dismissal
Last March 15, 2013, TMPCWA and the illegally dismissed workers launched a successful day of protest action against Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation. This is to commemorate the 12th year of the massacre done by Toyota to the lives and livelihood of the 233 plus 4 other members of TMPCWA and to their families. The day-long protest was also conducted to show to Toyota the the illegally dismissed workers are determine to fight against all injustices made by TMPCWA.
The protest started at the Japanese Embassy in order to remind the Embassy about their responsibility to educate Toyota to respect the rights of the Filipino workers while operating in the country. TMPCWA submitted a request letter to the Embassy official requesting for a dialogue on the same date. Unfortunately, the Embassy Official Labor AttachÃ© Mr. Hirata stopped the dialogue because they do not want any protest action in front of the Embassy. They also mentioned that the action is illegal because TMPCWA did not secure any permit from the Police Authority in the City of Pasay. Despite the explanation of TMPCWA that the said action is not illegal, rather, a constitutional right of the workers and the Filipino people, the Embassy Official Mr. Hirata still threatened TMPCWA to call the police. Defiant of the ill treatment by the Embassy, TMPCWA continued the protest. When the police arrived, as per the instructions of the Embassy, the police grabbed the placard with the Toyota logo on it. The placard was supposed to be burned as a sign of protest by the illegally dismissed workers.
The second part of the program of TMPCWA was staged in front of the Toyota Manila Bay, one of the Toyota dealer branches owned by George Ty, the owner of Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company as well as the Chairman of the Board of Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation. During the program, three men, each riding a motorcylce, arrived and it seemed that they were there to threaten the program. They were wearing jackets, bonnets and helmets. The illegally dismissed workers forced the men to go away and the men were forced to move under the bridge and they just watched the protest.
The third part of the protest action was staged in front of the Department of Labor and Employment. This is to condemn the DoLE by not doing anything despite of the many recommendations of the International Labor Organization in favor to TMPCWA. The illegally dismissed workers also condemn the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment for not listening to the 12 years of difficult situation of the illegally dismissed workers and their families and once again, reminded DoLE to act on this problem.
The last part of the protest action was staged in front of the Toyota Santa Rosa factory in Laguna. When TMPCWA arrivea at the vicinity of Toyota factory, the company security guards were already waiting, holding truncheons and wooden sticks and blocking the protesters. At first the Loss Control Officers of Toyota instructed the security guards to force the protesters to go and move away, but TMPCWA and its members were determined to continue the program. TMPCWA condemns Toyota during the program against all the injustices and exploitation the company had done to all their workers specially to those illegally dismissed workers and their families. TMPCWA ended the program by burning Toyota logo as a symbol of Toyota as a the number one union buster in the world and more so, as a sign of TMPCWA’s continuing struggle to attain justice for the illegally dismissed workers.
Long live the 12 years of significant struggle of TMPCWA and the illegally dismissed workers of Toyota!
Photos taken in front of the Japanese Embassy