Labor Notes, by way of the International Labor Rights Forum, is reporting on union busting efforts by Dole Food in the Philippines. You can send a message to Dole Foods in support of workers organizing in the Philippines by going here.
Dole Food is trying to crush Filipino pineapple workers’ right to organize. Beyond facing stagnant real wages, high quotas, and up to a 72-hour work week with no overtime pay, workers and their families are exposed to toxic chemicals and not given proper safety equipment. When individual Dole workers spoke out about chemical safety hazards, the company used its political weight to get them arrested for defamation. Even holding down their jobs has become more difficult for full-time workers, as up to three-quarters of the workforce is being replaced by contractors. After workers voted to unionize in 2006, Dole Philippines managers refused to meet with union representatives or members. Instead, the International Labor Rights Forum reports, they began meeting with local military and paramilitary thugs to crush the union by force, propaganda, and intimidation. Threats against unionists carry real weight in the country: four Filipino union leaders were murdered in 2008, one was abducted and tortured, and four others were arrested.