Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cavite EPZA strikers ask big electronics firms to uphold labor rights

As strike in Cavite EPZA factory enters second day:
Big electronics firms asked to uphold labor rights pledge in their supply chains

As the strike at an electronics subcon in the Cavite EPZA entered its second day, striking workers called on the company’s customers to uphold labor rights in their supply chains. The strikebound Seung Yeun Techonology Industries Corp. (SYTIC) supplies its products to local subsidiaries of multinational electronics companies.

“We call on SYTIC’s customers to make good on their code of conduct pledge. These companies have promised to respect freedom of association and labor standards in their supply chains, which includes SYTIC,” stated Frederick Bayot, president of the embattled SYTIC labor union.

The three biggest customers of SYTIC are ON Semiconductor Philippines Inc. in Carmona, Cavite, Analog Devices General Trias Inc. in the Gateway Business Park in General Trias, Cavite and Texas Instruments factories in Baguio and Clark ecozones. All are local subsidiaries of US multinational companies. ON Semiconductor is a spinoff of Motorola. SYTIC also supplies to Cavite-based factories of local subsidiaries of US electronics companies Maxim Integrated and Cypress. All these companies are members of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) which pledges to uphold freedom of association and labor standards in their companies and its supply chains.
Yesterday, several container trucks entered and then left the SYTIC factory to deliver to the Texas Instruments assembly plant in the Clark, Pampanga export zone. The law prohibits strikers from blocking the free ingress and egress of workers and materials except for scabs or replacement workers.

In its website, EICC avers that it is “a nonprofit coalition of electronics companies committed to supporting the rights and wellbeing of workers and communities affected by the global electronics supply chain.” EICC members are bound and accountable to a “code of conduct.” The code is a set of standards on social, environmental and ethical issues in the electronics industry supply chain.

“Partido Manggagawa (PM) through its allies and contacts have made representation to the EICC and directly to SYTIC’s customers about the ongoing dispute. We ask that they respond in accordance with the provisions of the EICC code of conduct,” explained Dennis Sequena, a PM-Cavite coordinator.

The mediation meeting facilitated by the Department of Labor and Employment yesterday ended without any agreement. The union demanded the reinstatement of workers fired for union activities but management just offered to give separation pay. Another mediation meeting is scheduled on Friday.

Production at the SYTIC factory remained paralyzed for the second day as an overwhelming majority of the workers are participating in the strike. Yesterday, strikers were joined at the picketline by supporters from PM, the labor center Sentro and workers from nearby EPZA factories.

April 12, 2016

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