MANILA - Condiments giant NutriAsia, Inc. (NAI) on Monday blamed striking workers for allegedly being behind the violent dispersal in its Bulacan plant that left several people injured and arrested.
In a statement, NAI said violence erupted when employees of processing company B-Mirk Enterprises, NAI's toll packer, allegedly "fired a shot in the air and started to hurl rocks at police and guards tasked to maintain peace and order in the area."
The violent attack happened during a mediation led by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) together with stakeholders and union organizer, NAI said.
NAI claimed that the "aggressive action" by the strikers and their supporters violated the writ of preliminary injunction issued by the Regional Trial Court in Malolos City, Bulacan on July 26, 2018.
The order states that the independent workers’ union “and all the other persons acting under its authority, direction or control, during the pendency of this case, to desist and restrain from obstructing the ingress to and egress from the company plant located at 904 Angeles Road MIS 3 Lambakin, Marilao, Bulacan of NutriAsia Inc. Marilao or obstruct thoroughfares leading thereto, including but limited to Dayap Road."
NAI claimed "the strikers had used young children and elderlies as frontliners and human shields as they pushed their way to barricade the plant entryways."
A mass was held Monday by NutriAsia workers outside its factory in Marilao. Police arrested 19 people, with some of them allegedly caught with firearms.
Workers at began their strike on June 2, demanding the management to recognize workers’ union, regularize employees, and hire back those they say were illegally dismissed.
NutriAsia manufactures UFC Ketchup, Mang Tomas All-Purpose Sauce, and Datu Puti vinegar and soy sauce.