Monday, January 16, 2017
Sunday, January 15, 2017
As their labor dispute entered its third month, workers of the biggest garments factory at the Cavite economic zone vowed to win their fight against union busting. They have maintained a picketline outside the main gate of the factory Faremo International Inc. since 1,000 workers were laid off last October 27, 2016.
“Faremo shutdown allegedly due to lack of orders, a claim that has been debunked by the admission of its major client, the global garments brand Gap, that purchases have in fact been increased. We are not on strike and want to work but have been locked out. We have sustained a 24/7 picket at the factory to guard against machines being taken out of Faremo. We have survived Undas, Christmas and New Year on the picketline and we are ready for the Chinese New Year,” explained Jessel Autida, president of the Faremo workers union.
Gap made this public statement last November upon inquiry from international labor rights groups that are waging a solidarity campaign for Faremo workers. Faremo’s other customers, US-based companies JC Penney and Kohl’s, did not respond to letters. Faremo is owned by the Korean multinational Hansoll.
Autida insisted that “Since Faremo’s reason for closing has been exposed as lie, it is now obvious that the motive is to bust the union and destroy the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The CBA was concluded last June and just after four months the factory was shutdown.”
He explained that they formed a union in order to improve pay, benefits and working conditions and stop mistreatment like verbal abuse. Workers at Faremo, despite years of seniority, receive just the mandated minimum wage of P356.50, well below the daily cost of living which PM estimates at P1,100 per day. Pioneers at Faremo, who have worked since the factory started in 2003, receive just P1 higher than the rest of the workers.
“Faremo workers are paid so cheap they cannot buy the clothes they make yet Hansoll is a billion dollar global company. Hansoll declared USD 1.27 billion revenues in 2016 and targets a net profit of 10%,” Autida elaborated.
He added that “We also suspect that another garments factory in the Cavite ecozone is the runaway shop of Faremo. Both before and after Faremo’s closure, truckloads of machines were taken out and we know these equipment are now being used in this factory. Most of Faremo’s former managers have also transferred to this company.”
“Faremo’s spiriting way of machines is in violation of an agreement reached during mediation meetings called by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board and also of a Philippine Economic Zone Authority board resolution,” Autida averred.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
They make a killing in doing their trade, but motorcycle-riding ‘Bumbays’ give life to enterprising Pinoys who are in dire need for cash. Their existence, therefore, has become socially-compatible over time compared to the hooded riding in tandems who roam communities to kill their targets.
Yet we agree to the plan that their usurious loan practice is put to an end. But an alternative to 5/6 system must be formed or less the Duterte administration is just creating new problems to replace the old ones.
We believe an alternative program can easily replace the 5/6 system. A national bank or a national lending program that cater to the needs of the poor can surely take its place. Without this needed replacement, the government will only push the system further into the black market where more notorious financial sharks operate.
Furthermore, an elaborate national employment program must be organized to bring down the number of workers in the vulnerable sector of the economy.
The Bumbays operate without permits and we have the anti-usury law that prohibits the system. But this is the kind of arrangement that flourishes in the mainly underground market that dominates the Philippine economy. They make small loans to small people. This is the practical economic reason why the system gained mutual agreement in poor communities where a big number of unemployed and underemployed members of the labor force are in desperate struggle for sources of livelihood.
For where should you go if you need a small, quick, and hassle-free loan to jump-start or sustain a small, unregistered enterprise like a sari-sari store, carinderia, a repair shop, among others? Definitely you are not welcome to any commercial bank that imposes stringent requirements for a loan, including collateral. And here comes a friendly Bumbay in the neighborhood who has the solution.
Of close to a million registered businesses in the country, more than 90 per cent are considered micro-enterprises or those with capitalization of less than PhP 3 million and employing not more than 10 people. The government has no data on how many are actually involved in the underground economy--the vulnerable families who fall victim to financial sharks that are not exclusive only to the Bumbays.
As of October 2016, 60.8% of the labor force is considered wage and salaried workers. The rest are either unemployed or working on own account or sariling sikap. Underemployment is at 18 per cent.
11 January 2017
Friday, January 6, 2017
06 January 2017
Worker protest undertaken by NAGKAISA labor coalition during the holiday season derailed the passage of DOLE Department Order 168 spoiling premature employer celebrations that they would no longer have to regularize millions of contractuals.
Under DO 168, “endo” and other contractuals would be regularized under the manpower supply agencies rather than in companies where they work. The suppose new arrangement follows the "win-win" solution proposed by DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.
But in a dialogue with convenors of the NAGKAISA labor coalition last Thursday, DOLE senior officials led by Secretary Silvestre Bello announced to the group that no new Department Order was issued before the end of the year. Said Order should have been issued as planned last December 28, according to Labor Undersecretary Dominador Say in a separate media interview Thursday.
NAGKAISA had launched mass actions and made appeals to President Duterte to reject the draft department orders circulated last month which apparently would allow an army of non-regular, contractor-deployed "seasonal" and "project" workers to supplant the despised "endo" system of contractualization.
President Duterte had made a campaign commitment to end contractualization within few weeks upon assumption to office. He reiterated this commitment during a year-ender interview with media. NAGKAISA warned that the supposed DO would perpetuate the contractualization policy that the President promised would be stopped.
Bello said he was willing to listen to the workers comments in crafting a fresh DO. The Secretary directed all his Undersecretaries to come out with separate drafts which will be consolidated by the DOLE into a new version on January 13. Said version will then be referred to the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (NTIPC) for consultations and will be issued as DO 1, series of 2017 when approved.
However, despite the suspended status of the new rules, NAGKAISA said workers face the same question on whether endo will be finally ended or the promise to ending endo is dead-ended by strong capitalist lobby or held hostage by economic managers.
During the dialogue NAGKAISA formally requested Sec. Bello to set up an audience with President Duterte where workers can air their appeal for the passage of an Executive Order that will serve as a stop-gap measure to proscribe contractualization until a new law amending the Labor Code is passed.
NAGKAISA further requested that the President certify as an urgent Administration measure House Bill No. 4444 (Rep. Raymond Mendoza, TUCP Partylist). HB 4444 seeks to prohibit all forms of short term employment contracts and the criminalization of such offense.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Contact: Rene Magtubo @ 09178532905
In first protest of 2017, workers call on Duterte to nix draft order on endo
WHAT: Nagkaisa labor coalition to call on Duterte to junk draft DOLE order re endo
WHEN: Tomorrow, January 4, 9:00 a.m.
WHERE: Assembly at Morayta then march to Mendiola