Uni-Pak workers protest, file complaint vs company on non-remittance of SSS contributions

A worker from Slord Development Corp. holds up a can of sardines she had been producing before the company illegally dismissed her and several others on May 12. Photo by Revy Marata.

Workers from Slord Development Corporation, manufacturer of Uni-Pak Sardines, trooped to the Social Security System (SSS) Main Office gates at East Avenue, Quezon City this morning and protested outside the gates of the state-run social insurance program for workers in the private sector.

Workers also filed a formal complaint against the corporation for its non-registration of employees and non-remittance of SSS contributions.

“Halos tatlong dekada na kami sa Slord pero ni minsan ay hindi kami nito nirehistro o naghulog ng contribution sa SSS namin,” said Samahang Manggagawa sa Slord Development Corporation President Norenda Nacinopa.

(We have been working for Slord for almost three decades, but not once did the company file our registration or remit our contributions to SSS.)

According to Nacinopa, Uni-Pak workers only received salaries worth P350-370 per day, way below the minimum wage of P512 in Metro Manila.

Slord Development Corporation also failed to provide its workers, who are mostly women, with appropriate benefits such as maternity leaves.

“Many workers who get pregnant are immediately fired from the company”, Nacinopa said.

Read: Fish Talks: Ang kalagayan ng mga manggagawa sa SLORD Development Corporation

According to the Samahang Manggagawa sa Slord Development Corporation secretary Elvira Jerez, 44 employees were illegally laid off on May 11 for organizing and asking the Department of Labor and Employment for assistance regarding their condition.

Read: Mga manggagawa ng Uni-Pak, iligal na tinanggal sa trabaho 

The protest held at the SSS Main Office was part of the group’s series of protests. They also held a picket camp in front of the Navotas Fishport Complex to assert their demands for regularization, higher wages, benefits, and safe working conditions.

“Despite offers of settlement from the corporation, we workers continue on with this fight. We are not just fighting to get our jobs back, but to ensure that all workers are regularized, treated fairly and receive the wages and benefits they deserve,” Jerez said.

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