Taytay sweatshop starts paying back wages

Published by reposted only Date posted on July 19, 2003

Garments factory Anvil Ensembles has started paying its workers a settlement amount in back wages and unpaid benefits.

This has satisfied “for now” the Department of Labor and Employment and the Garments and Textiles Export Board.

As a result, the GTEB, which appropriates quota on exports, allowed the company in Taytay town, Rizal to ship baby dresses to the United States worth about 8,000 dollars Saturday, according to GTEB executive director Serafin Juliano.

Juliano said the shipment is part of an order worth 500,000 dollars which Anvil received this year.

But a “preventive suspension” against the company remains, Juliano said.

Juliano said the GTEB has suspended Anvil’s export license to pressure it to comply with DoLE’s orders, and as a penalty for submitting “fraudulent documents” during an inspection.

“Every time there is an application (by Anvil) to export, we will check with DoLE and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines. It will be allowed to export on a per order basis,” he said.

Anvil was the subject of an Inquirer special report early this month. The report said Anvil violated labor laws and offered its workers a weight-loss drug to keep them awake during three-day shifts.

Juliano said the TGEB executive committee met the other night with Labor Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas, Anvil representatives Margie Lazo and Augusto Lazo, TUCP spokesperson Alex Aguilar and Anvil union president Lorna de la Cruz.

“We based our decision (to allow Anvil to ship its products) on the satisfaction of the workers,” Juliano said. “(Also), for as long as DoLE agrees with the measures Anvil is doing, we can release its export license.”

Juliano said GTEB would be evaluating Anvil from time to time to make sure it “is taking care of the welfare of workers.”

TUCP field officer Rey Reyes said Anvil has already paid many of its workers up to 21,000 pesos in back wages and unpaid benefits.

DoLE earlier ordered the company to pay its workers 5.8 million pesos or 42,679.70 pesos each.

Anvil has opted to settle with workers. It contended that the DoLE list of Anvil workers who should receive back wages and other benefits was outdated, and should therefore not receive uniform payment. –Luige del Puerto, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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