Worker’s flame of hope

An eternal flame of hope.

This was what I thought while taking this dim photo of an improvised kerosene lamp used by workers on protest inside an export zone in Rosario, Cavite.

The struggle of workers, all of them formerly employed with garment factory S.P. Ventures that closed down in May, is seems comparable to a flaming kerosene lamp amidst darkness and uncertainty. When their company closed shop, their employees were left penniless and jobless. Not even their salaries, benefits and separation pays were paid.

Their money claims is dragging in court as the insolvency proceeding have not been decided yet by the court.

Some of them were unable to get job while others had to sacrifice job hunting to ensure that equipment as collateral payment for them are not moved outside the company’s premises. They have to guard the factory and the warehouse. If these equipment are moved out, then hopes of getting paid looses.

It maybe unthinkable for others that these workers brave strong tropical typhoons and heavy downpour, ate meals from donation and contribution, left their respective boarding houses to stay in makeshift tents (or they left because they could no longer afford paying it)–just to guard the factory.

These workers who have worked so hard–day in and day out–for years to their company they thought their life too and are concerned of their rights and welfare. Despite this, however, they were left with almost nothing to eat. No other means to survive.

Later they would realise that it’s only them, not the management has since thought concern for the workers’ welfare and rights. That when the factory closed shop and looses everything workers’ interest is actually for nothing; not even a priority in this case.

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