Laid-off Jollibee workers camp outside company warehouse

BEEHIVE. Laid-off Jollibee workers start an indefinite campout at Jollibee Foods Corporation's main office in Paranaque. Photo by Kathy Yamzon.

Jollibee workers, who were dismissed last week, set up a campout they called ‘beehive’ at the gate of Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) warehouse in Parañaque today.

According to SM-JFC (Samahan ng Manggagawa sa JFC) President Rogelio Magistrado, they have no other option but to picket outside their workplace after JFC effectively dismissed them.

SM-JFC and Defend Job Philippines said that the JFC commissary and warehouse, where they set up their ‘Beehive’ is engaged in storing, handling and distributing products and other logistical needs of all other warehouses and Jollibee stores in Luzon. They provide logistics services to Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Burger King, Mang Inasal, and Red Ribbon.

Earlier, members of SM-JFC held a ‘die-in protest’ at the Jollibee head office in Pasig City.

Workers’ ‘die-in’ protest at the Jollibee main office in Pasig. Photo by Kathy Yamzon.

Workers slammed the termination of agency service contracts of JFC with Toplis Solution and Staff Search Agency that led to the massive dismissal of hundreds of its warehouse workers.

During the protest, workers expressed their rage against JFC’s non-adherence to the labor department’s compliance order to regularize thousands of its store crew members.

Defend Job Philippines and SM-JFC said, “JFC has been clearly and deliberately violating the ruling of DOLE [Department of Labor and Employment] Secretary Silvestre Bello III, despite being the top Philippine company to practice illegal labor-only contracting scheme (LOC).”

The groups also urged DOLE officials and President Rodrigo Duterte to intervene on the issue of regularization in JFC. They also reiterated their appeal for Bello and Duterte to look into the JFC’s moves to circumvent previous rulings against LOC.

“We call on the Duterte government to take up decisive actions for the benefit and welfare of the hundreds of jobless workers of this abusive fast-food giant. JFC workers deserve regularization, higher wages, substantial benefits and better working conditions,” said Magistrado.

 

‘Jollibee diet’

SM-JFC and Defend Job Philippines also enjoined the public to support their struggle for reinstatement and regularization by temporarily restraining from patronizing products of JFC and its affiliates and subsidiaries.

The groups asked JFC’s regular customers to go on a ‘Jollibee diet’ by not dining in Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Yong He King, Hong Zhuang Yuan, Mang Inasal, Burger King, Highlands Coffee, Pho24, 12 Hotpot, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Smashburger.

“A single order of regular fries, burger or drinks that will be deducted to the earnings of JFC can contribute a lot to the demands of contractual workers to be regular employees,” Magistrado’s group appealed to the public.

The group emphasized that every single cent not earned by JFC would put strong pressure on the company to listen to their workers clamor for regularization.

The groups also encouraged netizens to express their support by posting their ‘Jollibee diet’ in their social media accounts and by by using the hashtag #BEEastMode.

“We call on all contractual employees of JFC, our government officials, netizens and other supporters to visit us in our ‘Beehive’. To show solidarity, we encourage all workers in different warehouse and stores under JFC to launch various forms of sympathy protests down to the store levels to amplify our unified call for regularization,” said Magistrado.

Magistrado stressed that they are determined to defend their camp until the JFC management face them and give them their legitimate and just demands to be reinstated and be regularized.

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