TUCP condemns Cebu City Mayor for breaking up picket line

Published by rudy Date posted on August 13, 2008

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) today condemned in the highest possible terms the Mayor of Cebu City for what the labor center called as an “assault on workers and basic human rights”.

The TUCP disclosed that Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, accompanied by a phalanx of bodyguards, forcibly broke up the picket line of striking workers of the Gaisano Mall South in Cebu City.

The incident happened at 9.30 this morning.

Reports reaching the TUCP Headquarters in Manila disclosed that Osmeña led the dispersal of striking workers who were conducting a moving picket line in the mall premises.

“Union members allegedly saw the mayor alight from his car carrying a shot gun. The mayor reportedly cocked his gun and began shouting at the striking workers. He was also reported to have a pistol tucked in his waist,” TUCP said.

Osmeña was accompanied by members of the police and a SWAT team, all equipped with high caliber firearms.

The TUCP said that the attack was unprecedented in Cebu City and is a throw-back to the olden times of local politicians acting as patrons of erring employers.

“The RAMBO-like attitude of Mayor Osmeña and his cabal should not be left unnoticed. His actions are totally uncalled for,” TUCP said.

“Being an elected local official, he should lead everyone in respecting constitutionally guaranteed rights of workers,” TUCP added

“TUCP is sickened by the arrogant display of power by the Mayor and calls upon all sectors to join the trade union movement in condemning his actuations,” TUCP said.

The TUCP called on the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and the Commission on Human Rights to investigate the incident.

The TUCP is also contemplating on filing a report before the International Labor Organisation (ILO) in Geneva. The ILO is a specialized United Nations Agency in charge of labor rights violations.

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