Regent Foods Corporation (RFC) on Tuesday (Nov. 19) released its reaction to the Facebook post of Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto on Sunday (Nov. 17), underscoring that it will not be cowered by the young mayor’s threats.
RFC’s official statement posted on Facebook reads that the company respects the sentiments of Mayor Vico as well as the rights of its workers to hold peaceful strikes, underscoring that such rights “presuppose that the strike was first peaceful and that it was carried out within the bounds of the law.”
The snack food manufacturer noted that contrary to how the mayor depicted the situation, the strike was never legitimate nor peaceful, had been violative of RFC’s own rights.
RFC lamented that it “was immediately accused of initiating a lockout when the truth of the matter is that it was the minority union—UMRFC-KMU—who locked RFC and its employees out of the company, gravely affecting the lives of more than 400 innocent employees. “
To address this situation early on, RFC said it had sought the help of several government offices, including that of Mayor Vico’s.
The company also claimed that “in his post, Mayor Vico deliberately failed to disclose to the public that, before any of this had happened, RFC actually wrote his office to ask his assistance in amicably pacifying the situation.”
It further claimed that the company’s request fell on deaf ears, constraining them to resort to private security assistance so that they can reopen their gates and resume its usual business operations.
RFC pointed out that despite its communication with the office of the Pasig local executive, Mayor Vico still portrays the company as an evil corporation ready to “put poor and powerless people to jail”.
The snack manufacturer’s statement also reads that “Mayor Vico deliberately overlooks that RFC is not the complainant who pressed these criminal charges, RFC did not order their arrest, and RFC did not even participate in the preliminary investigation of these individuals.”
“Worse still, Mayor Vico has cast RFC as anti-labor. But, the truth is, RFC only meant to protect the rights of its non-striking employees who were prevented by the strikers from working and providing for their own families,” the statement further said.
The company further noted that as it stood by for 24 days, it did nothing to the strikers, even when they barricaded its ingress and egress, and even when the banner of KMU was visibly displayed in RFC’s private property, which are clear violations of RFC’s rights.
RFC maintained that it will not be cowered by the mayor’s threats as it hopes that Mayor Vico will also offer it the same courtesy, as is required by the basic rules of fairness.
“As recent events would, however, reveal, the mayor’s mind is already made up on an unjust quid pro quo. This, RFC cannot allow,” RFC insisted.
“Moving forward, RFC may simply accept its fate that the Pasig City Administration will unjustly make life hard for it and its 400-strong workforce, and contemplate simply bringing its business elsewhere—a truly painful outcome for a corporation that has considered Pasig City its home for a total of three decades now,” the statement concluded. /mbmf