|Workers strike at Tae Sung last February|
March 17, 2015
Workers of a Korean-owned metal factory in the
Cavite economic zone, the
biggest in the country, are restive once more because of a series of dismissals
and suspensions of union members. The Tae Sung Employees Association, the labor
union at Tae Sung Philippines Co. Inc., filed a notice of strike last Friday as
it alleged unfair labor practices of the management.
In the three weeks since the settlement of a previous strike by the Tae Sung union, management has dismissed two union members and suspended six more, including one union officer. The Tae Sung union is alleging that the terminations and suspensions of active unionists are retaliatory acts and thus a violation of a settlement agreement that no such actions should be undertaken.
The National Conciliation and Mediation Board of Region IV-A has called for a meeting tomorrow between union and management in a bid to settle the new labor dispute. Just last February the Tae Sung workers launched a two-day strike over a deadlock in collective bargaining negotiations that has lasted for six months without an agreement between the union and management. The strike was settled with workers winning a wage hike and added benefits.
The Tae Sung union is citing the case of three workers in the spray department who were all charged with a case for eating in the production area. Two of them, who are active union members, were fired as a result but the third worker, who scabbed during the February strike, was given a “slap in the wrist” of just a five-day suspension.
The union is arguing that minor infractions by workers have been meted the maximum of 30-day suspensions thus constituting discriminatory acts. A 30-day long suspension means the loss of a month’s wage for the concerned workers.
Further, the union is complaining that management has delayed by a month the signing of the collective bargaining agreement even though the settlement provided it shall be finished in just one week.
The Partido Manggagawa warned of protests to support the embattled Tae Sung workers in case there is no breakthrough in the mediation meeting tomorrow. The union is also planning to hold a strike vote among its members.