Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 1997 18:16:14 +0000
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YORKU.CA>
From: LabourNet <chrisbailey@GN.APC.ORG>
Subject: SOS—Appeal from Philippines

Appeal on behalf of Diamond Hotel Employees

Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), 12 December 1997

Sisters and Brothers,

During the dying hours of the celebration of the International Human Rights Day (10 December), about 150 truncheon-wielding security guards of the Manila Diamond Hotel broke the serenity of nighttime Manila Bay, and ganged up on a handful of striking workers belonging to the National Union of Workers in Hotel Restaurant and Allied Industries-Manila Diamond Hotel Employees Union (NUWHRAIN-MDHEU).

Apparently a well-planned move, the attack begun with security guards dismantling the strike tents and tearing down streamers and placards, then working through the picket, singled out several leaders.

The violent dispersal caused serious physical injuries on the part of the workers, sending six strike leaders to the hospital, two of them now require surgery to repair fractured bones. A news photographer of a national daily, Philippine Star, who happened to pass by at the time, and who took the chance to steal a few snapshots was not even spared the beating.

That these workers were mauled several meters away from the hotel's perimeter clearly shows that the attack was premeditated.

Unfortunately, a Philippine National Police (PNP) contingent posted nearby supposedly to ensure the peace intervened only after the guards were nearly through with their quarry. Worse, none of the attackers were arrested, instead they attempted to arrest some of the picketers and even tacitly approved the hotel management's illegal detention of one of the badly hurt striker.

This was only the latest and by far the most violent attack perpetrated by the hotel management and its lackeys.

Prior to this, the hotel management had forcibly dispersed picketing employees to bus in a number of scabs, even while management was holding a conciliation meeting with the union's representatives inside the hotel. A few days later, a PNP officer, a certain Captain Vidal, illegally dismantled streamers and placards.

The strike started on 29 November as the workers' response to the management's harassment activities.

The Manila Diamond Hotel is a deluxe hotel with 570 rooms and 10 outlets located at Roxas Boulevard, Ermita, Manila. It is part of the Japanese-owned Diamond Hotel chain whose other properties are in Tokyo, Japan and Susupe, Saipan. More than 2/3rds of its rank and file workforce of 1,100 are non-regular staff provided by contracting agencies, including those at the maintenance, laundry, housekeeping, cafeteria, banquet and the bulk of food and beverage staff.

The Manila Diamond Hotel Employees Union (MDHEU) was independently-registered on 19 August 1996 and has about 230 members out of about 400 regular staff. It filed a petition to conduct a certification election with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on 11 November 1996 but this was apparently denied last January 1997 for some flimsy reason. The Union has since then asked the hotel to voluntarily recognize and bargain with them instead, since it represents the majority of the regular staff. It is now a member of the National Union of Workers in Hotel Restaurant and Allied Industries (NUWHRAIN), an affiliate of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) and of the IUF.

The picket will continue despite strong possibilities that the violence would escalate We would like to request that letters of protest be sent to the Diamond Hotel's management demanding that it stop its union-busting actions and to voluntarily recognize the MDHEU as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of all regular staff.

Please sent your letter of protest to:

General Manager
Manila Diamond Hotel
Dr. J. Quintos Street
Manila 1000, PHILIPPINES

Tel. No.: (632) 526-2211
Fax No.: (632) 526-2255
Telex No.: 62791 DIAMOND HTLPN

Solidarity messages for the striking workers of Manila Diamond Hotel may be sent to:

2125 Taft Ave., Malate
Manila 1000, PHILIPPINES

Telefax No.: c/o (632) 524-9352
E-mail: c/o

Your early response could contribute greatly to the realization of the= Union's two demands.

Thank you and more power.

Deputy Secretary General
Alliance of Progressive Labor