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Workers' Digest
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Workers’ Digest
Special Issue
February 2010

Appeal for Solidarity for Alta Mode Workers

The embattled workers of Alta Mode Inc., a garments factory in the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) II and subcontractor for global brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, are appealing for support and solidarity.

Since February 15, 2010, they have protested outside the main gates of the MEZ II, one of the biggest export zones in the Philippines, after they were refused entry and not allowed to go to work. The following day, they set up camp at the MEZ gates in order to oblige the Alta Mode management to dialogue with the union. But the very next day, security guards of Acoland, lessor of the MEZ II, tried unsuccessfully to force them out of the export zone that is built on privately-owned land.

The Alta Mode Workers Union (AMWU), an affiliate of the Partido ng Manggagawa [Labor Party-Philippines], is demanding that they return to work and for management to establish to the workers the alleged financial losses of the company. The workers though have proof through Alta Mode’s own financial statements for years 2007 to 2008 that management’s claims of monetary losses are lies. AMWU accuses the company of closing the factory in order to bust the union.

This is the reason management adamantly refuses to hold a dialogue with the workers about the supposed losses. All the workers have received was a written notice about the closure. Since the picket line was set up, no one from Alta Mode management has faced the workers. Management even boycotted the mediation hearings called by the Labor Department.

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