Triumph workers reject government offer of financial grants

Published by rudy Date posted on July 1, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Soon-to-be displaced workers of Triumph International yesterday rejected the government’s offer of financial grants to help them put up their own undergarment business in case they can’t immediately find jobs.

Members of the Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Star Performance Inc. (NMSPI), in a statement said what Triumph workers need is full- time employment not financial grants from the government.

“The lifeline that the government wants to provide is not sustainable,” NMSPI president Maria Luisa Sol said.

Sol explained that in the face of the shrinking market due to the global financial crisis, to encourage workers to put up their own business is “ridiculous.”

“The compensation can save us for a while and provide for the immediate period but not in the long run. We are all breadwinners and we need job security,” Sol added.

Sol admitted that many of the workers might find it difficult to look for other employment due to their age and qualifications.

“DOLE’s allowing workers to be laid off en masse gives an added push to subcontracting and when these workers apply for jobs, they will most likely just get contractual ones,” Sol said.

She urged the government to focus on generating sustainable employment rather than palliative remedies just to facilitate the smooth closure of foreign-owned commercial establishments.

Labor Secretary Marianito Roque earlier reported that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has offered to provide financial grants to enable the close to 2,000 Triumph workers to put up their own undergarments business to cope with the crisis.

Roque also said that the labor department is opening the emergency employment vacancies for the Triumph workers who are not interested in putting up their own business.

Triumph had earlier announced that it would cease manufacturing in the Philippines due to the global recession and general downturn in consumer demand.–Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star

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