Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mass layoff sparks labor unrest in Cavite export zone

Press Release
April 21, 2010

A planned mass layoff of 450 workers, about half of the total workforce of a factory in the Cavite Economic Zone, has pushed its employees to form a union and file a case with the Labor Department. Workers of Dyna Image Corp. Phils., an electronics export firm owned by Chinese foreigners, trooped yesterday afternoon to the National Conciliation and Mediation Board-RAB IV in Imus, Cavite to file for preventive mediation of cases of illegal retrenchment and harassment.

Dyna Image will layoff the workers by May 10 and is offering them 13 days per year of service in separation pay. The company declared that the dismissal is to prevent losses due to the financial crisis. “But if the company is suffering difficulties, why is production in full blast and workers required to do overtime work,” questioned Virgielita Morite, president of the newly certified Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Dyna Image Corp. Phils.

Out of 933 total workers, 229 are already members of the union and more are signing up according to Morite. She alleges that management forced workers to sign papers giving consent to the termination. Morite added that “The fact that workers organized a union show that they do not agree to the layoff and we suspect that management will just replace regular workers with contractual agency workers.”

Raquel Monzon, president of the Rosario Workers Association, a DOLE-certified workers organization for mutual benefit and protection, argued that “The Dyna Image case is no different from the PAL spinoff that will lead to the layoff of 3,000 workers by May 31. By replacing regular with contractual workers, capitalists increase their profits by cutting labor costs. Why should workers be the first to bear the burden of the global crisis when we are the last to benefit during the period of boom?”

The labor party-list Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) chapter in Cavite is also supporting the Dyna Image workers. Dennis Sequena, a PM-Cavite leader, said that “It is ironic that on election day hundreds of Cavite workers will lose their jobs but all we hear from presidentiables are motherhood statements on poverty but no concrete jobs policy. Contractualization is a national issue that deserves attention. Thus among the ‘Apat na Dapat’ platform of PM is the protection and promotion of regular jobs.”

The Dyna Image union will participate in the coming Labor Day protest on May 1. Some 500 motorcycles will take part in a “Sakbayan Para sa Dagdag Sahod at Trabahong Regular” to be led by riders clubs whose membership are overwhelmingly workers.

The Dyna Image workers are still awaiting a date for the hearing of their preventive mediation case that is docketed as Case No. 04004-10. The factory produces parts for cellphone cameras.

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