Thursday, February 22, 2018

Striking Cavite women workers protest for Labor Secretary intervention

Women workers of the electronics firm Lakepower in the Cavite ecozone held a protest today at the DOLE main office to call on Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello to intervene and resolve the protracted dispute. The Lakepower workers have been on strike for more than two months now. The strike commenced after management refused worker’s demands that the termination and suspension of union officers and members be stopped.

The rally is also part of a series of protests by labor groups who are calling for the signing of an executive order to abolish contractualization and action by the DOLE on labor disputes at Lakepower, Coke and Philippine Airlines. The DOLE main office will also be the site of rallies on February 23 (Friday) by KMU and on February 26 (Monday)  by the Nagkaisa labor coalition.

The strike has dragged on as management has refused to take back the workers unless they are subjected to disciplinary action for taking part in the strike. Management has hired striker replacements since the strike began and continues to operate.

Immediately after the strike started last December 7, the striking women workers were repeatedly harassed by company and ecozone guards. Company guards, export zone security guards and other men wearing ski masks but clad in ecozone police uniforms repeatedly tore down placards and makeshift tents at the picketline. Two women workers—Maricar Orque and Magdalena Peña—were hurt in the commotion that followed the forcible dismantling of the picketline.

Unrest has festered at Lakepower since last year. Among workers grievances is the removal of the door of the women’s restroom so that the company can spy on workers. Almost all of the 200 workers in the factory are women. They are also outraged at the unreasonable limits on the use of the restroom which has led to numerous cases of workers suffering from urinary tract infection. Workers also complained of excessive quota and the exclusion of unionists from receiving Christmas packages.

Workers formed a union in June last year in a bid to resolve various workplace grievances such as verbal harassment, health and safety, and excessive quota. In response, management interrogated workers individually regarding their union activity. Union leaders were given new work assignments and overtime work was denied unionists and instead given to contractual employees. Three line leaders were forced to resign since they were suspected union supporters.

February 22, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cavite women workers kick-off series of protests for EO vs endo

Media Advisory
February 22, 2018
Partido Manggagawa
Contact Dennis Sequena @ 09301803072

Cavite women workers kick-off series of protests at DOLE for EO vs endo
WHAT: Striking Cavite women workers to hold protest

WHEN: Today, February 22 (Thursday), 10:00 am

WHERE: DOLE National office, Intramuros, Manila


Women workers of electronics firm Lakepower in Cavite ecozone have been on strike for more than two months now. They are calling on the office of the Labor Secretary to intervene to resolve the protracted dispute. The workers are calling for a stop to the termination and suspension of union officers and members.

The rally today kicks-off a series of protests by labor groups who are calling for the signing of an executive order to abolish contractualization and action by the DOLE on labor disputes at Lakepower, Coke and Philippine Airlines. The DOLE main office will also be the site of rallies on February 23 (Friday) by KMU and on February 26 (Monday)  by the Nagkaisa labor coalition. ###

Monday, February 12, 2018

Korean garments factory interfering in workers' right to unionize

Workers at a garments factory in Cavite ecozone are facing interference in their efforts to unionize. The Korean-owned factory Dong Seung Inc. supplies to brands Ann Taylor and Macy's.

The workers of Dong Seung formed an independent union and have filed a petition for a certification election as provided for under the law. Since then the union president has been threatened by management with a criminal case, union leaders have been transferred from their departments to deny them access to other workers, management personnel have been meeting workers and propagating anti-union propaganda, union members have been denied loans, and they have been told that they can only access the loans if they withdraw membership in the independent union. Finally the Dong Seung management has formally manifested opposition to the holding of an election in a hearing conducted by the Labor Department on the petition for certification elections

As a result the independent union has filed a unfair labor practice complaint with the Labor Department. The complaint is presently being heard.

The workers union are calling on global companies Ann Inc., which owns the brand Ann Taylor, and Macy's Inc. to remediate the violations of their supplier Dong Seung Inc. based on their supplier codes of conduct which provide for respect for freedom of association and collective bargaining.

12 February 2017

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Nagkaisa hails passage of Security of Tenure Bill

Nagkaisa! is satisfied over the passage on third reading of HB 6908 on the Security of Tenure at the House of Representatives.

Nagkaisa! said that "the SOT bill is a great improvement to existing legislation as it gives more teeth to the government by providing penalties for those who will violate the security of tenure laws."

"This is the farthest a proposed law on SOT has gone for decades," said Nagkaisa! "Now, it's time to get the Senate moving on their proposed SOT measure."

"HB 6908 gives more flesh and blood to the guaranteed right to security of tenure," Nagkaisa! said. "It's not perfect or ideal, but we can live with it," said Nagkaisa!, the largest labor coalition in the country.

Fear of employers allayed

Nagkaisa! also addressed fears of employers who went on record saying that they will have a "big problem" if the proposed measure was passed. 

"If the big problem employers have about HB 6908 refers to the potential cutbacks in the windfall of profits a number of employers have been amassing through the massive abuse of workers via contractualization for decades, the bill intends to do just that," Nagkaisa! said.

 "Employers who do not abuse workers through contractualization have nothing to fear," Nagkaisa! added.

"Never in the history of employment relationship in the country has workers enjoying regular employment and implementation of strict rules in labor contracting been detrimental to the economy and job generation," Nagakaisa! said.


"Job generation is a function of the development of sectors of the economy influenced by economic policies of the government, and not by labor contracting practices," Nagkaisa explained.

A "serious problem" employers noted is that if the SOT bill becomes a law, it will be detrimental to the economy and job creation. 

Nagksaisa! countered the argument. "Workers with regular employment generate more income, thus, with more purchasing power contribute to increasing demand in goods and services that lead to higher income taxes and VAT for the government.  These are all good for the economy," said Nagkaisa.


"The fear that the HB can lead to unemployment is only possible if they are not paying their contractual employees what the law currently demands. In other words, their argument is an admission that they are doing business at the expense of workers’ rights - and they want to continue doing so," Nagkaisa! added.

The recent statement by the employers didn't specify which provisions of the bill they strongly disagree with.

Nagkaisa! said it was grateful to Labor Committee Chair Rep. Ting who steered the discussions and Rep. Raymond Mendoza of TUCP Partylist and Rep. Tom Villarin of Akbayan Partylist who co-authored the SOT Bill and helped defend it together with Nagkaisa.

30 January 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Nagkaisa! supports HB 6908 on security of tenure

With its provisions that can be considered as marked improvement from existing laws and regulations pertaining to labor contracting, particularly Article 106 of the labor code and DO 174, rules and regulations on labor contracting promulgated by the DOLE last March 2017, Nagkaisa!, the largest labor coalition of worker’s union and labor organization in the country supports HB 6908, an act strengthening workers security of tenure, which was approved on second reading by the house of representatives last January 23.

Among these provisions are:
a) Disallowing subcontracting of jobs already contracted out by principal employers;

(b) Disallowing any form of fixed-term employment;

(c) Any one of the three conditions found present on the the employment relationship between the labor contractor and employees dispatched to principal employers, such employment relationship is deemed labor-only contracting. These conditions are (1) labor contractor has no substantial capital in the form of investment and tools, (2) the labor contractor has no control over the worker’s method and means in performing their function, and (3) workers recruited and dispatched perform functions which are directly related to the principal busines of the employer; and

(d) Labor contractors found violating labor-only contracting provisions of this act shall be fined Php 30,000 for each worker engaged in labor-only contracting arrangement but the total amount of the fine shall not exceed Php 5 million.

Nagkaisa! admits that HB 6908 is not a perfect bill to prohibit all forms of labor contracting. However, the marked improvement in its provisions would surely address to a great deal widespread use of contractual labor in the country, and thus strengthening workers’ security of tenure and the exercise of their right to organize and collectively bargain compared to the present laws and regulations pertaining to labor contracting.

Nagkaisa now calls on the Senate to introduce more prohibitive provisions in their version of bills pertaining to security of tenure so as to further improve what HB 6908 has achieved.

Finally, we thank the efforts made by Cong. Ting, Chairperson of the Labor Committee, representatives of TUCP and Akbayan! partylists, and the rest of the co-authors of HB 6908 for successfully defending and passing it on second reading.

25 January 2018