The firm NutriAsia reportedly had its security service and the police violently repress on Monday a protest of about 300 workers carried out in its factory in Marilao, Bulacan, according to rights group Karapatan and labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno.
Labor union KMU condemned “the continuing violence against the workers of NutriAsia, who have been on strike due to the management's refusal to implement a DOLE order for the regularization of contractual workers,” it said in a statement.
KMU also urged the government to “implement its own meager restrictions on the illegal practice of contractualization, instead of siding with management and harming the workers in their legitimate protest.”
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) had ordered NutriAsia to regularize 80 workers, while negotiations are currently taking place with the NutriAsia union representatives.
The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) also condemned the violent repression and the strategy of allegedly accusing the protesters arrested of fake charges of illegal possession of firearms and drugs.
"This vicious dispersal at NutriAsia marks the Duterte regime’s heightening attacks against the people," the CPP said, adding, "This full-force brutality unleashed against workers and supporters is in line with Duterte’s marching order to pursue a 'relentless and chilling' war against the people, all under the thin veneer of fighting illegal drugs."
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines also condemned the attack of two journalists on the site, saying “The assault on and the possible apprehension of our colleagues is a clear attack on press freedom and highlights the increasing dangers journalists face.”