Manila – The IUF Asia Pacific, the regional organization of the food workers’ international, today announced that one of the biggest fisheries companies in Japan that also imports tuna from General Santos has launched an investigation into the human rights violations of Citra Mina.
This does not auger well for the tuna industry in General Santos City. It becomes critical for the industry stakeholders that workers’ rights are upheld.
This development comes at a time that the Director General of Trade of the European Commission is also sending a trade delegation to the Philippines from 29 June to 3 July 2015 to monitor the country’s implementation of its commitments under the EU GSP Plus programme. The delegation is set to visit General Santos City and to meet with SENTRO, one of IUF’s affiliates in the Philippines that has been helping Citra Mina workers fight for their rights.
The Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission is in charge of implementing the common trade policy of the European Union.
“The potential damage to the reputation of the tuna industry in the Philippines must not be underestimated”, Dr. Hidayat Greenfield, regional Secretary of the IUF Asia Pacific said. “All this because Citra Mina will not reinstate workers unfairly dismissed for forming a union. It is a very big mistake that could cost the tuna industry of General Santos and ultimately the people of General Santos,” he added.
“What we need is for Citra Mina to do the right thing by reinstating the workers and recognize the union. That would set us on a firm course for a sustainable tuna industry that restores the reputation of General Santos. ” Dr. Greenfield said.
Citra Mina is the 2nd largest seafood exporter in the Philippines. It has been under increasing pressure after the IUF launched a global campaign last June 2014 in support of the call for justice for the workers of Citra Mina. The workers are being organized by SENTRO.