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Philippines: Sumifru workers vow to carry on the fight

Hundreds of banana workers remained on strike against Japanese banana firm Sumifru Philippines Corporation for its unfair labor practices and the company’s push for government’s immediate intervention on different attacks against the striking workers.

The Sumifru Philippines Corporation (Sumifru), a Japanese multinational, is engaged in the sourcing, production, shipment, and marketing of various fresh fruits, primarily on the export of quality Cavendish bananas, pineapple, and papaya. The company operates more than 12,000 hectares of plantations in Mindanao.

In the town of Compostela, Sumifru operates in more or less 2,200 hectares of banana plantation with nine packing plants totaling a production capacity of at least 19,000 boxes per day or seven million boxes per year.

With the said production, Sumifru is earning a gross daily income of PHP19 million per day in its Compostela operations alone. It has more or less 4,700 workforces that, according to the company, 3,000 are from its 300 contract growers and 1,700 are workers in the packing plant.

Health hazards
On October 1 last year, workers who are members of the union Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm (NAMASUFA-NAFLU-KMU) decided to stop their operations and installed makeshift barricades in seven SUMIFRU Packing Plants.

Many workers said that Sumifru and its partners rarely provide personal protective equipment or PPE’s despite their direct exposure to various chemicals needed for banana production.


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