Amid labor issues, some Filipinos call for Jollibee boycott

Photo: Jollibee Singapore/Facebook
Photo: Jollibee Singapore/Facebook

Iconic Filipino fast-food chain Jollibee isn’t having such a jolly week. Prompted by ongoing labor issues, some of its workers and patrons are calling on the public to boycott the restaurant.

This week, workers laid-off by employment agencies allegedly cut loose by Jollibee organized protests outside the Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) main office in Pasig City and its warehouse and commissary in Parañaque City.

In Facebook posts made by labor organization Defend Job Philippines yesterday, it asked the public to “temporarily not patronize JFC affiliates and subsidiaries” to support the workers’ fight, a campaign they call #BEEastMode.

Apart from Jollibee, other JFC chains include Chinese takeout Chowking and the local franchise of international brand Burger King.

Last month, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) tagged JFC as one of the companies with the highest number of contractual employees.

Contractualization, known colloquially as “endo” or “end of contract” is a common practice in the Philippines in which companies hire employees under a fixed-term contract of fewer than six months to avoid having to provide them with benefits required by law.

JFC had been told to “regularize” (make permanent) more than 6,000 of their employees, but has said that this responsibility lies in the “service contractor” agencies the workers come from.

According to Defend Job Philippines’ post, the protesters were laid off by their agencies Toplis Solutions and Staff Search Agency, allegedly because the agencies were dropped by JFC.

Apart from the labor organization, others have also called for a Jollibee boycott online.

Judging by the feedback online, their call has not fallen on deaf ears.

“I won’t eat in Jollibee and DD (Dunkin’ Donuts) until they take action on DOLE’s order to regularize their contractual employees,” Twitter user @armigeddont said.

“I remember all these people on here who asked Jollibee’s delivery people to write notes for them. If you care about these people too, boycott Jollibee and their other businesses now,” @cristinatabag said.

Others have even accused Jollibee of allegedly producing “PR stunts” to divert attention from the issue.

“LOOK: Jollibee engages in cheap PR stunts to try to draw attention away from the fact that they still haven’t regularized their contractual workers despite a DOLE order to do so,” @contraBEEda said.

@naalimpungatan called himself a “Jollibee connoisseur” but still pushed for the boycott.

“[T]his is your resident jollibee connoisseur asking you guys to boycott jollibee with me in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are suffering under their unjust contractualization practices. no chickenjoy or jolly spaghetti is worth their pain,” he said.

Coconuts Manila has reached out to Defend Job Philippines but has not received a response as of posting time.

CORRECTION: This article previously stated that the local franchise of Dunkin’ Donuts is under JFC. It is actually owned by Golden Donuts Incorporated (GDI).


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