Friday, July 28, 2017

Lakepower management and union settle dispute with an agreement to respect freedom of association


The labor dispute at an electronics factory located in the Cavite economic zone was settled yesterday with an agreement between management and the union to respect freedom of association. The National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) called the management and union of Lakepower Converter Inc. to a meeting in a bid to resolve the complaint of union busting and unfair labor practice.

Management agreed to a set of demands by the union. First, that the company will issue a memo to be posted on bulletin boards in the factory spelling out its respect for freedom of association and prohibiting management personnel from interfering in the workers’ right to unionize as provided for in the law.

Second, that management wil not send any employees to protest the pending petition for certification of the Lakepower workers union as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent.

Third, the recall of roving armed guards in the production area.

And finally, the implementation of a previous agreement during another mediation meeting last July 7. In that agreement, management committed to resolve a list of 14 workplace grievances raised by the union including the women’s restroom doors that were kept open and airconditioners in the production area that remained closed.

In return, Lakepower management asked that the post in the Partido Manggagawa blog regarding the dispute be removed. The union agreed to the proposal and thus yesterday night the post was duly removed in compliance with the agreement.

Likewise the union withdrew the complaint for union busting and unfair labor practice in recognition of the settlement reached.

The minutes of the mediation conference formally spell out the terms of the agreeement cited above and was duly digned by representatives of Lakepower management and the union in the presence of officials of the NCMB.

Partido Manggagawa salutes the Lakepower workers, almost all of whom are women, in their steadfast fight for workers rights and considers the agreement as a victory for the union. PM is committed to assist in the protection of the rights of Lakepower workers and will monitor the compliance of the company to the terms of the agreement.

Lakepower is a Taiwanese-owned factory that makes electronic transformers for computers, appliances and even airplanes, and is a supplier to big electronics firms.

July 28, 2017



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Workers back in Congress today as SONA ended without endo

MEDIA ADVISORY
NAGKAISA Labor Coalition
26 July 2017
Request for coverage

Workers back in Congress today as SONA ended without endo

Nagkaisa will hold a picket rally at the South gate of Batasan Complex this morning, 11:00 am, to press for the enactment of anti-endo bills. Workers were dismayed with Pres. DU30's SONA which ended without any mention of endo measures. Nagkaisa leaders will also attend a House hearing on the Security of Tenure bill at 1:00 pm.

Thank you very much.
NAGKAISA Comm. Group

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Workers to troop to Congress tomorrow for SONA reaction, demand end endo

 

The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) slammed the SONA of President Rodrigo Duterte for failing to tackle the delivery of campaign promises including ending contractualization. Tomorrow, members of PM along with other groups from the labor coalition Nagkaisa will troop to Congress to call for the passage of the Security of Tenure bill.

“Duterte’s SONA—minus the stories and curses—was all about death and taxes. People will die. Filipinos will be taxed. Taxes will be used for the war on drugs and the armed forces instead of for social services. In contrast, the SONA’s silence on endo and other reform promises was deafening,” stated Rene Magtubo, PM national chair and spokesperson of Nagkaisa.

More than a hundred workers will assemble at the gates of Batasang Pambansa at 11:00 am tomorrow to push for the enactment of a law to prohibit all forms of contractualization. It will also be an opportunity for labor to air its reaction on the SONA.

Magtubo explained that “The SONA was full of sound and fury but signifying nothing for workers. Workers got absolutely nothing from the two-hour long SONA speech of President Duterte. The SONA started on the theme of the promise of change. Thus workers waited for Duterte to elaborate on the delivery of the promises. But not a single word on ending endo. And no much else too on other social reform issues.”

“Instead the narrative of whether promises were delivered were overshadowed by Duterte’s rambling rants against his critics, principally human rights advocates and the mass media. Indeed the rants were an entertaining distraction from the embarrassing topic of undelivered promises. Paradoxically only China was unreservedly praised,” he added.

Magtubo insisted that workers were left with unanswered questions after the SONA. “So has the promise of change been delivered? Obviously not, but why? After the hours-long stories, curses and boasts, how will the lives of the workers and the poor be changed permanently? Of these, there were no answers,” he argued.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Workers reaction to SONA 2017


So has the promise of change been delivered?

The SONA was full of sound and fury but signifying nothing for workers. Workers got absolutely nothing from the two-hour long SONA speech of President Duterte. The SONA started on the theme of the promise of change. Thus workers waited for Duterte to elaborate on the delivery of the promises. But not a single word on ending endo. And not much else too on other social reform issues.

Instead, the narrative of whether promises were delivered was overshadowed by Duterte’s rambling rants against his critics, principally human rights advocates, the mass media and international rights organizations. Indeed the rants were a convenient distraction from the embarrassing topic of undelivered promises. Paradoxically only China was unreservedly praised.


After the hours-long stories, curses, and boasts, how will the lives of the workers and the poor be changed permanently? Of that, there was no answer. The only thing certain in Duterte’s SONA are death and taxes. People will die. Filipinos will be taxed. Taxes will be used for the war on drugs and martial law instead of for social services.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Martial law extension or expansion will be a very expensive, unproductive experiment

Photo from Inquirer

The battle of Marawi has already entered its 9th week.  And it won’t be over until everything gets back to normal.  In fact, it is the normalization and rehabilitation part of this conflict which is a bigger war to win since failure in this aspect, we believe, will only create more conflict in this highly stratified region of the country.
 
We anticipate, though, that Marawi will ultimately fall back into the hands of our government forces.  War ultimately ends even without a victor. What it leaves, definitely, are the enormous humanitarian costs that will be very difficult to measure.  The Marawi war has already claimed at least 500 lives and created more than 200,000 bakwits.  Thousands of livelihoods were also lost as the city was razed into the ground by aerial bombings and fierce ground battles. Furthermore, the declaration of martial law has endangered civilians’ free exercise of human rights in the entire island of Mindanao.
 
The Supreme Court has already ruled on the legality of the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao but the 60-day duration of Proclamation 216 is set to expire on July 22, 2017.  Hence, the President, Congress and the entire nation now face a bothering question on whether the Martial Law in Mindanao should be extended or be expanded to cover the entire Philippines.  The House leadership, when asked, is even willing to extend and expand Martial Law for the entire term of the President or until 2022.
 
NAGKAISA labor coalition declares its opposition to the extension or expansion of Martial Law based on the following grounds: 
 
1.     It is not necessary;
2.     It will be very expensive; 
3.     It is unproductive and is a disincentive to economic progress;
4.     It weakens our democratic institutions; and
5.     It strengthens the hands of the totalitarians.
 
We find no compelling reason to warrant its extension or expansion at this point in time.  We believe that lawlessness in many forms can be addressed by a highly professional and effective military/police leadership. Ensuring professionalism and quality armed services is where Presidential powers are best exercised. 
 
Furthermore, extending this kind of war for a much longer time and carried out on a nationwide scale will become a very expensive experiment for a country whose development is highly dependent on loans and regressive taxes. It is therefore unacceptable to see the proposed expansion of VAT and imposition of excise taxes on oil, automobiles and sugar drinks funding not a social program but infrastructure for war.
 
Lastly, it will be very unproductive for the President to spend his remaining years in office for this costly war.  War is both destruction and political distraction.  It neither creates nor equally redistributes social wealth that is now concentrated in the hands of oligarchs.
 
The President, in other words, has a better war to wage and win against contractualization, low wages, and high prices of basic goods and services.  If you want peace, Mr. President, build social justice and economic inclusion first.
 
Dito ka namin gustong maramdaman

Nagkaisa Labor Coalition
19 July 2017