We, the workers of Triumph International Philippines under the leadership of Bagong Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Triumph International- Independent or New Unity of Workers in Triumph International strongly denounce and resist the injustice of Triumph International Philippines to us.
We deem that the closure of Triumph International Philippines which resulted to the lay-off of more than 1600 workers is unjust and inhumane. The management’s reason for closure that their company had to implement global restructuring program to keep its business healthy amidst global recession and downturn of demand is not acceptable.
We stand firm that the closure is in bad faith because:
- The company is not losing its business. In fact, Triumph International boast in their official website the total revenue of $1.6 billion annually and Triumph International is still the number one lingerie company in the globe. In the Philippines, the company sold billions worth of underwear products yearly.
- Despite company’s open declaration of closure, the management still operates its Sales and Marketing Department, maintained 142 personnel and will also hire another 128 personnel. As a matter of fact, the company filed retrenchment and not permanent closure as their main reason at the Department of Labor. Mr. Dieter Streicher, managing Director of Triumph International Philippines also said that they are looking forward for future investments in the Philippines. Thus opening big possibilities that the company is re-opening its business in other parts of the country.
We condemn the Global Restructuring Program or the Global Cost Cutting Program of the German multi-national company which is destructive to tens of thousands of Triumph workers around the globe. At the expense for the cheapest labor, it has also retrench our fellow workers in Thailand (1930), UK (65), China (1000+),India (1000+), South Korea and in other countries. Barely, it has displaced the lives of the workers and their families. Many of our children were forced to stop schooling. And we are afraid that very soon many of us will be left homeless and live in dire situation.
We firmly believe that the closure of Triumph in the Philippines is a part of the grand plan under the Global Restructuring Program to bust the Bagong Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Triumph International-Independent and other unions in other countries. Triumph International Philippines has never ceased to violate our rights and has offered deceiving early resignation packages. Our genuine and democratic union unwaveringly and militantly fights for our best interests and welfare. And it is very clear that the company wanted to take back all the victories we have won in the collective bargaining agreement and worker’s strikes against unfair labor practices.
We also condemn the connivance of the Philippine Government through the Department of Labor and Employment Sec. Marianito Roque and Triumph International. It is the responsibility of the state to uphold our rights to job security. The Department of Labor and Employment has given license to the management to retrench workers and to full protection of the law.
We condemn the repression of our right to stage picket and other forms of protest. The company has used goons to destroy and suppress our picket protest since March when the company started re-exporting the raw materials to China and Vietnam where labor is much cheaper. And as our protest and condemnation intensified, management’s harassment heightened using the FTI police.
The fruits of our labor have contributed to the overall success of Triumph International.
From a small wooden factory in 1974 to more than 1 hectare concrete factory at present, we have joined and served the company for more than 30 years. Amidst crisis and prosperity, we have vitally and faithfully wielded our strength, wisdom, creativity for the best interest and satisfaction of Triumph International and our beloved consumers.
Triumph International should abide its own principles and code of conduct. As we quote from the Triumph Success Stories that states “Then as now, the philosophy of the company focuses on its people. We condemn and abhor any kind of discrimination on the grounds of sex, nationality, race or religion, and we are committed to observing international human rights statutes both within our own production operations and in all suppliers to Triumph International.” And # 4 of the Triumph International Code of Conduct “Discrimination is forbidden. All employees are exclusively employed on the basis of their ability and suitability. Any kind of different treatment or discrimination of persons because of their descent, colour, religion, nationality, origin, political or union involvement or employment or because of sex or age has to cease.” (ILO-Agreement 100 and 111).
In this light, we call upon our fellow Filipinos and to the international community to support our calls:
1. Stop the Global Restructuring Program of Triumph International because it is destructive to the Triumph workers and has resulted to the displacement of thousands of workers and their families.
2. Demand for the payment of Salaries, Wages and Benefits of the workers considering the fact that Triumph international Philippines incorporated profited from the labor of the workers ever since the company started its operation in the Philippines. It shall start on August 29 onwards and until such time that the labor dispute between Triumph International Philippines and the Bagong Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Triumph International has been settled, workers considered back to work or reinstatement of the affected workers has been made by the company.
3. Stop the connivance of the Philippine Government under Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo through the Department of Labor and Employment. The government shall safeguard the right to job security of the workers especially in the midst of global crisis as foreign multi-nationals pass the brunt of the crisis to the workers.
4. Stop the harassment and repression to the workers.