The Women Workers In Struggle for Employment, Empowerment and Emancipation (Women WISE3) salutes the members and supporters of Bleustar Workers Labor Union (BWLU) after it posted victory against the Advan United Workers Labor Union (AUWLU), a union affiliated with Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) in the elections held last February 18, 2011 at the premises of Bleustar Manufacturing & Marketing Corporation.
A total of 206 workers participated in the polls which were facilitated by the representatives of Department of Labor and Employment DOLE-NCR. Of this number, BWLU garnered 106 votes, and Henry Huecas and Liza Malimata were elected as Federation Representative for National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU) and Local Representative, respectively. Meanwhile, 83 votes were in favor of AUWLU, which were represented by Arturo Basea from FUR-TUCP and Judith Mallillin.
There were two (2) spoiled ballots and 15 segregated ballots. The official ones were signed by Petitioner Mallillin and Intervenor Malimata, and then countersigned by Election Supervisor Lourdes Ching and Owner Proxy Mario Rosario Jr., Sheryl Anne Vargas, Corazon Sabado and Harry Teneza. Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) and Muntaparlas Field Office Tripartite Peace Industrial Council (MTPIC) acted as observers.
This victory in the elections is also a victory amid the efforts of the management to derail the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and dismantle the union. On November 18 last year, the BWLU and BMMC management signed the CBA three days after the workers staged a strike against the company’s union busting efforts, unresolved sexual harassment cases, and other unfair labor practices. After the signing, the union immediately went to Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to register the concluded CBA.
DOLE however declared that they could not issue a certificate recognizing the CBA because another union, AUWLU, filed a Petition for Certificate Election (PCE), which it stated would nullify the results of the CBA negotiation between the workers and the management.
After the workers showed their support for the militant union, Women WISE3 believes that it is high time that the company hold itself accountable for the commitments it made during the CBA. Also, Women WISE3 calls upon the DOLE to be true arbiters of worker-management disputes, and always protect the interests of the workers.