April 27, 2010
A few days before Labor Day, workers unrest over mass layoffs and labor contractualization is erupting from export zones to the airport. More than 200 laid off workers of an electronics firm in Cavite were joined by the labor party-list Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) in a protest today at the office of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board in Imus, Cavite. Yesterday the workers of Dyna Image Corp. Phils. walked out of their factory and marched to the gates of the Cavite Economic zone in protest at management’s attempt to force employees to sign separation papers.
Meanwhile the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) is planning another protest this Friday against the dismissal of some 3,000 workers by the end of May and the spinoff of airport services, inflight catering and call center work. Last week PALEA launched two motorcades around PAL offices in the airport area in which more than a hundred motorcycles and vehicles participated.
The Dyna Image workers protest coincided with a preventive mediation hearing called by the NCMB at 2:00 pm today. The newly-formed Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Dyna Image Corp. Phils. filed last week complaints of illegal retrenchment and harassment. “We do not believe the company’s claims of the financial losses due to the economic crisis since production is in full blast and workers are doing overtime work,” insisted Virgielita Morite, president of the Dyna Image union.
In the protest at the NCMB-Cavite today, workers held placards that read “DOLE: Stop the layoffs,” “Layoffs should be the last not the first option” and “No to contractualization.” Dennis Sequena, a leader of PM-Cavite, said that “Workers suspect that Dyna Image will just replace regular workers with contractuals whose wages will be cheaper, receive fewer benefits and have no security of tenure. Why are workers the first to bear the burden of the economic crisis when we are the last to benefit during the period of boom?”
Gerry Rivera, president of PALEA and vice-chairperson of PM, argued that “PAL is propagating the myth that the jobs to be spun off are non-core units. But how can an airline function without ground crew that handles ticketing reservations, inflight catering and airport services? These are jobs that are essential to PAL’s smooth and safe operation. Management is juggling words as an alibi for contractualization.”
The Dyna Image union and PALEA will participate in the PM-led Labor Day protest on May 1. More than a thousand workers riding some 500 motorcycles will take part in a “Sakbayan Para sa Dagdag Sahod at Trabahong Regular.” The motorcade will be led by riders clubs in Cavite, Laguna and Batangas whose membership are overwhelmingly workers.