16th National Tuna Congress
16th National Tuna Congress

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Organizers of the 16th National Tuna Congress held here slammed representatives of an international labor organization for stealing the thunder during the event while pushing their advocacy on fishing companies to comply with international labor standards.

Rossana Contreras, executive director of the Socsksargen Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries, Inc. (SAFFAII), which organized the tuna congress, said the group of foreigners led by Liz Blackshaw, program director for Asia of International Union of Food and Agricultural Workers (IUF), instigated lighting protest actions at the venue at SM GenSan Trade Hall to push the group’s labor advocacy programs.

The group has been supporting the case of 12 retrenched workers of Citra Mina Seafood Corp., which closed shop last October.

The case is now pending before the regional office of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board despite the issuance of the return-to-work order by the company management for the workers to be rehired in its subsidiary, the Citra Mina Tuna Cannery.

Contreras said the tuna congress was not the right forum for the international labor group to pursue their advocacy. (MB)