Friday, May 6, 2016

Cavite EPZA workers occupy factory, demand regular jobs

The labor dispute at an electronics subcon in the Cavite EPZA, the country’s biggest export zone, esacalated further with locked out workers barging in today and occupying their factory. The workers had been picketing the factory of Seung Yeun Techonology Industries Corp. (SYTIC) for the last two days.

“We want our jobs back as regular workers. Management is planning to replace its regular, unionized workforce with agency workers who are contractual and non-union,” averred Frederick Bayot, president of the SYTIC Workers Association.

The sit down protest at the SYTIC factory is in response to the illegal lockout and runaway shop perpetrated by management. SYTIC was supposed to have shutdown two days ago but starting Wednesday night, non-union workers went back to work at the factory.

Bayot added that “The alleged closure of SYTIC is feigned not real, is temporary not permanent. SYTIC has existing orders to fulfill from its multinational electronics customers for the next several months and thus there is no valid reason to shutdown. It is just a maneuver to bust the union, deny us our regular jobs and continue its violations of labor standards on payment of wages, overtime pay, health and safety, and illegal deductions.”

“We will stay in the factory to make sure that the machines and tools are not transferred by management to a non-union location. Management has already shipped out half-finished goods to a warehouse where scabs can work on them,” Bayot explained.

The SYTIC workers are demanding the reopening of the factory, a return to work as regular employees and recognition of the newly-formed union.

In support of the SYTIC workers fight against contractualization and the right to unionize, members of the partylist Partido Manggagawa (PM) picketed the main gate of the Cavite EPZA. “Ang laban ng SYTIC workers ay laban ng lahat ng EPZA workers. Ang laban kontra endo ay laban ng lahat,” declared Dennis Sequena, a PM provincial coordinator.

An earlier five-day strike in April by SYTIC workers ended in a victory with 18 workers, who were illegally terminated for union activities, reinstated back to work. However, the company later filed for permanent closure which the union is contesting is a union busting scheme.

SYTIC manufactures plastic products that provide protection to integrated circuits and electronic components from physical and electrostatic discharge during storage and shipping. Its three biggest customers 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. It exports part of its production to C-Pak Cergas in Malaysia.

May 6, 2016