Friday, September 9, 2016

Workers decry union busting at Cavite factory

Workers at a metal factory in Cavite are threatening to strike in a bid to stop the union busting attempts of management. The labor union of Taifini Copper and Conductor Inc. in Silang, Cavite filed a notice of strike yesterday because of management interference over their right to organize.

“This is a serious test of freedom of association under the new administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. The Philippines has recently come under scrutiny by the International Labor Organization for violation of Conventions 87 and 98 on the right to organize and bargain collectively,” asserted Dennis Sequena of PM-Cavite which is assisting the Taifini workers.

He added that “Workers are being intimidated by supervisors and managers to desist from joining or resign from the union. Union officers have been repeatedly met by top management and recently by the owner himself in a bid to stop the unionization. Union officers and members have been told that its customers will stop their orders once a union is formed and that the company will be forced to shutdown if unionization continues. Overtime has been stopped and thus take home pay has been reduced as a way to harass workers.”

PM is challenging the new officials of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to uphold freedom of association in Taifini. “Defense of the right to unionize should complement the end endo campaign and wage increase advocacy of the DOLE. Job security, a living wage and freedom of association are related and inseparable rights of workers,” Sequena insisted.

The union is demanding a stop to the union busting campaign of management and a public declaration by Taifini management to respect freedom of association.

Taifini Copper and Conductor Inc. is a Taiwanese-owned factory in the industrial belt of Brgy. Maguyam in Silang. The factory produces copper wire products for export to the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Japan, and includes giant multinational companies like Whirlpool, Electrolux, General Electric, Home Depot and Coleman Cable as its customers.

Taifini has more than 100 regular workers but including contract employees, has a total workforce of around 500.

“The union was formed in order to better the working conditions of workers and so they can have a voice in the workplace. But they now face a vicious drive by the management to derail unionization to keep wages cheap, jobs insecure and workers docile,” Sequena explained.

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