The SOCCSKSARGEN and the Davao City Centers of the Workers’ Watch Project established their Workers’ Watch Formations in Polomolok, South Cotabato and Bunawan, Davao City, last June 12, 2021, and July 18, 2021, respectively. These formations intend to establish a strong community support organization that will immediately respond to human rights violations amongst workers.
Thirty-five individuals from different sectors attended the Workers’ Watch Formation in Polomolok. In comparison, 21 individuals participated at the said formation in Bunawan.
The members are from the academe, religious organizations, local officials, medical practitioners, and youth.
Workers of Dole Philippines in Polomolok shared their experiences regarding their illegal termination last 2020, while the workers from Bunawan listened to a discussion on the current situation in Davao Region.
“We are thankful that individuals from different sectors expressed support and solidarity with regards to our issue [illegal termination]. We will continue to fight for our rights as workers. We are hopeful that the law will be in our favor,” said one of the participants during the SOCCSKSARGEN Center’s Workers’ Watch Formation.
The Davao City Center Area Coordinator, Daisy Guides, emphasized instituting a Workers’ Watch Formation, especially amidst the CoViD-19 pandemic. Employees are subjected to rights violations such as retrenchment, reduced working hours, and unpaid benefits.
Around 300 documented illegal dismissal cases and other unjust labor practices were reported in Davao City alone as of May 2021.
After the discussions, officers were elected, pledging commitment and the other members, which marked the official establishment of the Workers’ Watch Formation in these two areas.
Subsequently, the Workers’ Watch SOCCSKSARGEN held a Labor Standard Training (LST) last June 18 to June 19, 2021, while the Workers’ Watch Davao City conducted the same training on August 30, 2021.
The LST aimed to discuss and understand the workers’ situation in the Philippines, work and International Labour Organization (ILO) supervisory mechanisms, General Labour Standards (GLS), Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHS), issues on termination, and legal remedies in cases of violations and non-compliance.
The Workers’ Watch from SOCCSKSARGEN and Davao City are looking forward to similar activities to impart further knowledge and skills to protect better and promote workers’ rights and welfare.