B-MEG workers demand proper compensation and other rights

This article is available in Pilipino

The 104 workers B-MEG, a factory in the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) in Mariveles, Bataan, demanded being given their separation pay and backpay, and pushed for the remittance of contributions to SSS, Pag-ibig and PhilHealth, after the dialogue between them and the labor agency Delta 5 Manpower Agency. They will get these payments in July.

The Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng FAB (NMFAB) congratulated the workers for this victory. “The BMEG workers have proven that if all workers are united nothing is insurmountable,” NMFAB said. The workers first complained about the delay in their wages and other rights in the last week of May.

B-MEG dismissed the Delta 5 Agency from its factory due to the delay in workers’ wages. “The problem is, the entry of the new agency required workers to reapply and submit biodata and requirements,” NMFAB said.

It will only give them a six-month contract. “This will slice the workers’ tenure in the factory,” the group explained.

The workers’ association call for the comlete removal of labor agencies from B-MEG and nationwide. The prevalence of agencies and keeping workers as contractuals is a violation of the right to job security, living wage and other labor rights.

In 2017, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) gave labor agencies the authority, by virtue of its Department Order 174, to regularize workers on the pretext of eliminating the “end of contract.” By this, the agency absolved the capitalists from their obligation to regularize their workers.

“We have to remind the workers that the entry of a new agency within BMEG does not secure employment but imprisons you as contractual workers. Even if the agency is replaced, we will suffer the same or worse problems again and again, which we experienced,” NMFAB stated.

Contractualization strips workers of the right to unionize, and to bargain for living wages and other labor rights.

Amid all this, NMFAB called on B-MEG workers to unionize in the factory. “For you to avoid experiencing the hardships in the agencies again, we have to fight now until such time the San Miguel Corporation recognize you as regular workers,” it said.

The B-MEG factory in the Bataan Freeport Area opened in March 2018. It manufactures biopolymer products or feeds (livestock feed) and daily produces 20,000 50-kilogram bags or about six million bags annually. B-MEG’s 25-kilogram feeds sell for ₱1,500 to ₱2,800 depending on the class.

The company is owned by San Miguel Pure Foods Company, a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation run by Ramon Ang. Ang poured ₱60 billion into the construction of B-MEG. It has at least 25 plants across the country.

AB: B-MEG workers demand proper compensation and other rights