Monday, December 11, 2017

Ecozone workers protest continuing harassment of women strikers


Workers from the Cavite Economic Zone, together with their supporters, staged a rally at the main gate of the zone in protest at the continuing harassment of striking women workers of electronics company Lakepower Converter Inc. Yesterday, there was another incident of ecozone guards trying to prevent strikers from entering the ecozone. Another mediation meeting is scheduled tomorrow between the union and management.

The group Partido Manggagawa (PM) also called for the resignation of the head of the Cavite Economic Zone for being responsible for the harassment of striking women workers that resulted in injuries to two strikers and the imposition of “martial law” in the country’s biggest export processing zone. The picket today was the second solidarity action since last Friday.

“The violent attacks on women strikers by armed security guards contracted by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) lie squarely in the hands of Atty. Norma Tañag, head of the Cavite ecozone. We demand her resignation,” asserted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

Maricar Orque and Magdalena Peña, both workers of Lakepower Converter Inc., a Taiwanese-owned electronics company, were hurt in the commotion that followed the dismantling of the picketline last Thursday night. Lakepower workers went on strike that afternoon after mediation meetings convened by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board collapsed as management refused workers demands that the termination and suspension of union officers and members be stopped.

Magtubo added that “Tañag has imposed martial law in the Cavite ecozone with guards of the Jantro security agency and the PEZA police as her goons and thugs. Workers and supporters who want to bring food, water and supplies to the strikers are stopped and prevented from proceeding to the picketline. Jantro guards repeatedly intimidate strikers who put up protest placards and signs at the picketline. All of these are blatant transgressions of the DOLE-PEZA-PNP Guidelines on the Conduct of Personnel During Labor Disputes.”

PM assailed the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for inaction despite the incidents of violence at the Lakepower picketline. “While the DOLE celebrated its 84th anniversary yesterday in Bulacan, Cavite workers were facing violent repression by PEZA personnel. DOLE has the power to assign a peacekeeping team at the Lakepower picketline and the responsibility of convening an inter-agency committee to prevent violence during labor disputes. Pero natutulog sa pansitan ang DOLE habang dinadahas ang kababaihang manggagawa,” insisted Magtubo. ###


Photos of the picketline can be accessed here:

Photos of the rally at the Cavite ecozone can be accessed here:

December 11, 2017


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Advisory: Protest at Cavite ecozone tomorrow to call for resignation of administrator, stop to harassment

Media Advisory
December 10, 2017
Partido Manggagawa
Contacy Dennis Sequena @ 09301803072

Protest at Cavite ecozone tomorrow
to call for resignation of administrator, stop to harassment

WHAT: Protest by labor groups and ecozone workers vs. violent attacks on striking women workers

WHEN: Tomorrow, December 11 (Monday), 8:00 am

WHERE: Cavite Economic Zone, Rosario, Cavite, Gate 1

DETAILS:

The groups Partido Manggagawa, Sentro and Katipunan ng Manggagawang Pilipino will call for the resignation of the head of the Cavite Economic Zone for being responsible for the harassment of striking women workers that resulted in injuries to two strikers and the imposition of “martial law” in the country’s biggest export processing zone.  

The protesters assert that the violent attacks on women strikers by armed security guards contracted by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) lie squarely in the hands of Atty. Norma Tañag, head of the Cavite ecozone.

Maricar Orque and Magdalena Peña, both workers of Lakepower Converter Inc., a Taiwanese-owned electronics company, were hurt in the commotion that followed the dismantling of the picketline last Thursday night. Lakepower workers went on strike that afternoon after mediation meetings convened by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board collapsed as management refused workers demands that the termination and suspension of union officers and members be stopped.

The protesters contend that Tañag has imposed martial law in the Cavite ecozone with guards of the Jantro security agency and the PEZA police as her goons and thugs. Workers and supporters who want to bring food, water and supplies to the strikers are stopped and prevented from proceeding to the picketline. Jantro guards repeatedly intimidated strikers who put up protest placards and signs at the picketline. All of these are blatant transgressions of the DOLE-PEZA-PNP Guidelines on the Conduct of Personnel During Labor Disputes.

Video of PEZA guards harassing women workers this afternoon: https://www.facebook.com/partidomanggagawa/videos/10155838242124323/?hc_ref=ARTGypM3p48CRjse-_uPZYsqundw5Bja8V4QKZ6JgPFUcZBa0q3fvFxumrimkjxVOUg&pnref=story

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Cavite ecozone head asked to resign as women workers strike enters 3rd day


The group Partido Manggagawa (PM) today called for the resignation of the head of the Cavite Economic Zone for being responsible for the harassment of striking women workers that resulted in injuries to two strikers and the imposition of “martial law” in the country’s biggest export processing zone. Yesterday afternoon PM and other groups rallied at the Cavite ecozone in support of the women strikers and vowed to hold more solidarity actions next week.

“The violent attacks on women strikers by armed security guards contracted by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) lies squarely in the hands of Atty. Norma Tañag, head of the Cavite ecozone. Her resignation would be a fitting celebration of International Human Rights Day tomorrow,” asserted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

Maricar Orque and Magdalena Peña, both workers of Lakepower Converter Inc., a Taiwanese-owned electronics company, were hurt in the commotion that followed the dismantling of the picketline last Thursday night. Lakepower workers went on strike that afternoon after mediation meetings convened by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board collapsed as management refused workers demands that the termination and suspension of union officers and members be stopped.

Magtubo added that “On the eve of human rights day, Tañag has imposed martial law in the Cavite ecozone with guards of the Jantro security agency and the PEZA police as her goons and thugs. Workers and supporters who want to bring food, water and supplies to the strikers are stopped and prevented from proceeding to the picketline. Jantro guards repeatedly intimidate strikers who put up protest placards and signs at the picketline. All of these are blatant transgressions of the DOLE-PEZA-PNP Guidelines on the Conduct of Personnel During Labor Disputes.”

PM assailed the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for inaction despite the incidents of violence at the Lakepower picketline. “While the DOLE celebrated its 84th anniversary yesterday in Bulacan, Cavite workers were facing violent repression by PEZA personnel. DOLE has the power to assign a peacekeeping team at the Lakepower picketline and the responsibility of convening an inter-agency committee to prevent violence during labor disputes. Pero natutulog sa pansitan ang DOLE habang dinadahas ang kababaihang manggagawa,” insisted Magtubo.

Unrest has festered at Lakepower for the last few months. Among workers grievances is the removal of the door of the women’s restroom so that the company can spy on workers. Almost all of the 200 workers in the factory are women. They are also outraged at the unreasonable limits on the use of the restroom which has led to cases of workers suffering from urinary tract infection. Workers are also complaining of excessive quota and the exclusion of unionists from receiving Christmas packages.

Last November 16, the Lakepower workers held a protest at the Cavite ecozone against company abuses. The protest was the third such picket over the last month at the country’s biggest export processing zone. Earlier, garments workers held protest actions against “factory shutdown-cum-union busting.” After two protests and a strike threat, the union leaders at the Korean-owned garments factory Sein Together Phils. Inc. were eventually accepted back to work.

Photos of the solidarity action yesterday at the Cavite ecozone can be accessed here:

https://www.facebook.com/partidomanggagawa/posts/10155833112704323

December 9, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

PEZA slammed as 2 women workers hurt in picketline attack


Security guards contracted by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) joined surprise attacks on a picketline at the Cavite Economic Zone that resulted in injuries to two women workers. Maricar Orque and Magdalena Peña, both workers of Lakepower Converter Inc., a Taiwanese-owned electronics company, were hurt in the commotion that followed the dismantling of the picketline around 11:30 pm last night. The workers union and the group Partido Manggagawa (PM) slammed the PEZA for conniving with management in four separate instances of violent harassment of the strike.

“Company guards, personnel of the Jantro Security Agency hired by PEZA and other men wearing ski masks but clad in PEZA police uniforms repeatedly tore down placards and makeshift tents at the picketline last night and early morning. They first attacked at 7:00 pm, again at 11:30 pm, once more at 1:00 am and finally at 5:00 am. The men arrived in motorcycles and bearing side arms. Two of the motorcycles used had plate numbers DA 21752 and DC 86314,” explained Mercy Tanginan, president of the Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Lakepower Converter Inc.

The strike at Lakepower started at 3:00 pm yesterday after mediation meetings convened by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board collapsed as management refused workers demands that the termination and suspension of union officers and members be stopped.

Tanginan added that “A PEZA firetruck along with Jantro guards went to the picketline area. The Jantro also set up barricades at two points leading to the factory and refused entry to workers going to the picketline.”

Rene Magtubo, PM national chair, declared that “All these are violations of the DOLE-PEZA-PNP Guidelines on the Conduct of Personnel During Labor Disputes. We hold the PEZA and Atty. Norma Tañag, administrator ng Cavite ecozone, responsible for the violent attacks on the women workers strike. Aside from the direct involvement of PEZA police, firefighters and Jantro guards in the harassment and attacks, PEZA has administrative control of the ecozone and is liable for such repeated incidents of violence.”

Unrest has festered at Lakepower for the last few months. Among workers grievances is the removal of the door of the women’s restroom so that the company can spy on workers. Almost all of the 200 workers in the factory are women. They are also outraged at the unreasonable limits on the use of the restroom which has led to cases of workers suffering from urinary tract infection. Workers are also complaining of excessive quota and the exclusion of unionists from receiving Christmas packages.

Last November 16, the Lakepower workers held a protest at the Cavite ecozone against company abuses. The protest was the third such picket over the last month at the country’s biggest export processing zone. Earlier, garments workers held protest actions against “factory shutdown-cum-union busting.” After two protests and a strike threat, the union leaders at the Korean-owned garments factory Sein Together Phils. Inc. were eventually accepted back to work.


“Workers are unionizing to improve their working conditions but are being met by extreme interference from capitalists unwilling to share the fruits of production,” asserted Magtubo.

December 8, 2017

Welga ng kababaihang manggagawa inatake, 2 sugatan


Tatlong beses na inatake kagabi at ngayong madaling araw ng mga gwardiya at naka-ski mask na kalalakihan ang welga ng mga kababaihang manggagawa sa Cavite ecozone. Sugatan sina Maricar Orque at Magdalena Peña, parehong manggagawa ng Lakepower Converter Inc., isang Taiwanese-owned electronics company sa loob ng Cavite Economic Zone sa bayan ng Rosario.

“Pinagtulungan ng mga gwardiya ng kompanya, Jantro Security Agency at kalalakihang nakatakip ang mukha pero nakasuot ng uniporme ng pulis na hablutin ang mga placards at trapal sa aming picketline. Una silang sumugod noong 7:00 ng gabi, umulit uli ng 11:30 ng gabi at muli nitong 1:00 ng madaling araw. Nakasakay sila mga motor, may dalang mga baril at umatras lang nang kinuhanan ng litrato ng mga manggagawa. Ang isa sa motor na ginamit ay may plakang DA 21752,” paliwanag ni Mercy Tanginan, presidente ng Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Lakepower Converter Inc.

Nagsimula kahapon ng 3:00 ng hapon ang welga ng mga manggagawa matapos na walang kasunduang maabot sa miting na ipinatawag ng Labor Department. Hiling ng mga manggagawa na itigil ang tanggalan at suspensyon ng mga officers at members ng unyon. Subalit ayaw pumayag ng management.

Dagdag ni Tanginan, “Pumunta din sa picketline ang firetruck ng PEZA at Jantro guards na inuupahan ng PEZA (Philippine Economic Zone Authority). Nagbarikada din ang Jantro sa paligid ng pabrika at tinaboy ang mga manggagawang pupunta sa picketline.”

“Paglabag sa DOLE-PEZA-PNP guidelines ang mga ito. Pananagutan ng PEZA at ni Atty. Norma Tuñag, administrator ng Cavite ecozone, ang marahas na pag-atake sa mapayapang welga ng mga kababaihang manggagawa. Bukod sa tauhan ng PEZA ang Jantro guards, sila ang may kontrol sa lahat ng nangyayari sa loob ng ecozone,” giit ni Rene Magtubo, tagapangulo ng Partido Manggagawa (PM), na sumusuporta sa mga kababaihang manggagawa.

Ilang buwang nang kumukulo ang diskuntento ng mga kababaihang manggagawa sa Lakepower bunga ng mga pang-aabuso. Nirereklamo nila ang pagtanggal sa pintuan ng banyo upang tiktikan ang mga manggagawa. Gayundin ang mahigpit na patakaran sa pag-ihi na naging sanhi ng maraming kaso ng urinary tract infection. Halos lahat ng manggagawa sa Lakepower ay kababaihan.


Ayon kay Magtubo, “Nagbubuo ng unyon ang mga manggagawa upang mapabuti ang kanilang kalagayan sa paggawa. Subalit tinatapatan sila ng walang habas na union busting ng mga kompanya na ayaw partihan ang mga manggagawa ng bunga ng kanilang pagpapawis.”

December 8, 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Cavite women workers go on strike


The women workers of an electronics factory in Cavite walked off their jobs this afternoon as a make-or-break meeting between management and the union ended without an agreement. The workers of Lakepower Converter Inc., located at the Cavite Economic Zone, declared a strike due to union busting and unfair labor practices of the company.

“We tried for more than a week to resolve the issues of illegal termination and suspension of unionists and other discriminatory acts against workers but management was not willing to settle the grievances in good faith. Thus we have no choice but to go on strike,” declared Mercy Tanginan, president of the Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Lakepower Converter Inc.

She explained that “We demand a permanent stop to the harassment and discrimination of unionists. The pending termination of six unionists and suspension of other officers and members must be totally scrapped. Workers’ grievances must be settled.”

Dennis Sequena, a Cavite coordinator of the militant Partido Manggagawa (PM), which is assisting the Lakepower workers, averred that “PM chapters and Cavite ecozone unions will give 100% support to the Lakepower workers. Ang laban ng isa ay laban ng lahat.”

Unrest has festered at Lakepower for the last few months. Among workers grievances is the removal of the door of the women’s restroom so that the company can spy on workers. Almost all of the 200 workers in the factory are women. They are also outraged at the unreasonable limits on the use of the restroom which has led to cases of workers suffering from urinary tract infection. Workers are also complaining of excessive quota and the exclusion of unionists from receiving Christmas packages.

Last November 16, the Lakepower workers held a protest at the Cavite ecozone against company abuses. The protest was the third such picket over the last month at the country’s biggest export processing zone. Earlier, garments workers held protest actions against “factory shutdown-cum-union busting.” After two protests and a strike threat, the union leaders at the Korean-owned garments factory Sein Together Phils. Inc. were eventually accepted back to work.

“Workers are unionizing to improve their working conditions but are being met by extreme interference from capitalists unwilling to share the fruits of production,” asserted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

December 7, 2017

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Cavite women workers all set for strike


The women workers of an electronics factory in Cavite gave the go signal for a work stoppage after a successful strike vote last Tuesday. The strike can be held as early as December 6 and paralyze the production at Lakepower Converter Inc., located at the Cavite Economic Zone.

“We are earnestly preparing for a strike against the union busting and unfair labor practices of management. Only the unity and action of workers can stop the vicious cycle of abuse and repression in our factory,” declared Mercy Tanginan, predisent of the Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Lakepower Converter Inc.

A mediation called by the Department of Labor and Employment yesterday to avert the strike did not push through as the company asked to reschedule. Meanwhile the company stated that the termination of the union president and five other unionists has been temporarily deferred.

Tangian responded that “We demand a permanent stop to the harassment and discrimination of unionists. The pending termination of six unionists and suspension of other officers and members must be totally scrapped. Workers’ grievances must be settled. If not, the strike will push through.”

Dennis Sequena, a Cavite coordinator of the militant Partido Manggagawa (PM), which is assisting the Lakepower workers, averred that the next mediation on December 5 will be a make-or-break meeting. He said that “If management does not respond to workers demands then the strike is a go. PM chapters and Cavite ecozone unions will give 100% support to the Lakepower workers. Ang laban ng isa ay laban ng lahat.”

Unrest has festered at Lakepower for the last few months. Among workers grievances is the removal of the door of the women’s restroom so that the company can spy on workers. Almost all of the 200 workers in the factory are women. They are also outraged at the unreasonable limits on the use of the restroom which has led to cases of workers suffering from urinary tract infection. Workers are also complaining of excessive quota and the exclusion of unionists from receiving Christmas packages.

Last November 16, the Lakepower workers held a protest at the Cavite ecozone against company abuses. The protest was the third such picket over the last month at the country’s biggest export processing zone. Earlier, garments workers held protest actions against “factory shutdown-cum-union busting.” After two protests and a strike threat, the union leaders at the Korean-owned garments factory Sein Together Phils. Inc. were eventually accepted back to work.


“Workers are unionizing to improve their working conditions but are being met by extreme interference from capitalists unwilling to share the fruits of production,” asserted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

December 2, 2017

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Workers slam RevGov in Bonifacio Day rallies


The militant Partido Manggagawa (PM) called for a stop to the RevGov proposal in nationwide rallies commemorating Bonifacio Day. “Bonifaco led a real revolution to gain democracy for the Filipino masses. Duterte’s RevGov is instead a coup d’etat to install a dictatorship over the people,” asserted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.

PM joined the group Kalipunan ng Kilusang Masa in a several-thousand strong march from Espana to Mendiola this morning. PM and allied organizations also mobilized in Cebu, Davao and Bacolod.

Bonifacio Day was a litmus test for RevGov as anti and pro groups had separate for rallies today.

“We call on workers not to join any RevGov events. The first to be sacrificed in a RevGov-cum-dictatorship are the freedoms and rights of workers. Workers need political and civil liberties to advance their fight against capitalist exploitation and state abuses,” explained Magtubo.

Kalipunan assembled at Ramon Magsaysay High School along Espana by 8:00 am before marching by 9:00 am to Mendiola. In Cebu, the broad coalition Cebu Citizens Assembly marched at downtown Colon St. in the morning. Workers and urban poor led by PM and Sentro assembled at Orcullo Park in Davao, marched around the city and then returned to the park for a program. In Bacolod, sugar workers converged on the city for a rally at downtown.

Magtubo added that “RevGov seeks to capitalize on people’s discontent on the brutal failings of the EDSA democracy. But the alternative to the democracy of the trapos is not a return to a dictatorship of one man but forward to a democracy of the masses that was the agenda of Bonifacio’s revolution. A revolution from the top by a dictator is a fake. The real revolution is a the result of a movement of the masses.”


He added that the Bonifacio Day rallies against RevGov is just the opening salvo and the campaign will escalate towards the commemoration of International Human Rights Day on December 10. More events and mobilizations are slated in the run-up to the remembrance of human rights day. ###

November 30, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017

Women electronics workers in Cavite on brink of strike



Women workers of the Taiwanese-owned electronics factory Lakepower Converter Inc. in the Cavite Economic Zone filed a notice of strike today over union busting and unfair labor practice. The union president and five other unionists were terminated last week on the flimsiest of charges while scores of other union officers and members have been suspended for a week.
“The mass termination of unionists is just the latest episode of a pattern of union busting schemes by management. Since Lakepower workers started organizing some months ago in a bid to redress workers’ grievances, the company has been discriminating against known unionists,”stated Mercy Tanginan, president of the Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Lakepower Converter Inc.
 The Department of Labor and Employment immediately set a conciliation meeting between the union and the company on December 1 to avert the planned strike. More than a week ago, the Lakepower workers held a protest at the Cavite ecozone against company abuses. Among their grievances is the removal of the door of the women’s restroom so that the company can spy on workers. Almost all of the 200 workers in the factory are women.
They are also outraged at the unreasonable limits on the use of the restroom which has led to cases of workers suffering from urinary tract infection. The dispute over the restroom is just the tip of the iceberg of worker grievances at Lakepower.
Aside from the dispute over the women’s restroom, workers are also complaining of excessive quota, discrimination against unionists resulting in suspensions and their exclusion from receiving Christmas packages.
“Management reneged on an agreement reached a few months ago to redress our grievances. Before, we complained that the restroom door was always kept open. Through mediation, they agreed to close the door to protect the privacy of workers. But now, they removed the door entirely,” explained Tanginan.
Workers unrest at the Cavite ecozone is brewing. The protest by Lakepower workers was the third such picket over the last month. Earlier, garments workers held protest actions against “factory shutdown-cum-union busting.” After two protests and a strike threat, the union leaders at the Korean-owned garments factory Sein Together Phils. Inc. were eventually accepted back to work.
Partido Manggagawa, which is assisting the Lakepower workers, is calling on the Department of Labor and Employment and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to intervene.
“Workers are unionizing to improve their working conditions but are being met by extreme interference from capitalists unwilling to share the fruits of production,” asserted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair. ###
Photos of the protest by Lakepower workers can be accessed at:

November 27, 2017


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sein Together union officers reinstated after month-long fight


The union president and seven other union officers of the Korean-owned garments factory Sein Together Philippines were finally allowed to return to work starting November 2. They, together with around 500 workers, were laid off when the factory temporarily shutdown in late August. All the workers were forced or cajoled into resigning and accepting separation pay, except for 20 union officers and members who fought the shutdown as a union busting scheme by the company.

When the factory reopened in late October, the 20 were not allowed to return to work even as some 200 of the retrenched workers, all non-union, were rehired by Sein Together. In a hearing at the labor court in the last week of October, the company stood pat on its refusal to reinstate the union officers. Twelve of the 20 union officers finally accepted the separation offer, believing that that company will never allow them back to work. The labor court hearing was a result of the illegal shutdown complaint filed by the union.

The reinstatement of the remaining eight union officers was the outcome of a series of protests by the union and their suporters, and actions by brands, specifically Disney, on the alleged freedom of association violations at Sein Together. The union expresses its gratitude to their allies in the workers movement, to the International Labor Rights Forum and Disney.

In a mediation meeting facilitated by the Labor Department on November 3, the company formally declared that the eight union officers are reinstated to their former positions. The union asked that all retrenched workers, whether union or non-union members, be rehired. The company refused on the grounds that they have sole discretion to hire workers.

The union’s complaint at the labor court for illegal shutdown remains pending and the workers are demanding backwages for the one-month period of the temporary closure of the factory from late August to late October. The company averred that the closure was due to lack of orders but the union asserts the shutdown was merely a ruse to force workers to resign and bust the union. The shutdown was the culmination of a series of moves by the company to subvert freedom of association since the workers started organizing a union.


The union reports that Disney-branded products are not being manufactured at Sein Together at the present time.

19 November 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Workers push for anti-endo EO in airport march



Labor groups are pushing for an executive order (EO) to prohibit contractualization and replace the DO 174 of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Members of the union Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) and Partido Manggagawa (PM) marched at the airport today in support of the proposed EO. 

“Filipino workers demand an end to endo as promised by President Rodrigo Duterte. DOLE’s DO 174 falls short of abolishing endo as it merely regulates contractualization, no different from previous orders. Thus the need for an EO that actually prohibits endo,” argued Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice-chair of PM.

About a hundred PALEA and PM members marched from the union headquarters at Baclaran to the Philippine Airlines In-Flight Center near the NAIA Terminal 2.

Yesterday different labor groups such as PM, PALEA, the labor coalition Nagkaisa and TUCP-Herrera wing finalized the draft EO and submitted it to the office of DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello. A counterpart EO on contractualization within public sector was also presented.

The two EO’s will then be endorsed for signing by President Rodrigo Duterte, as agreed upon in a dialogue between labor groups and the Secretary Bello last Nov. 8. The workers groups are also calling for another dialogue between labor and President Duterte to get the administration’s commitment to the EO prohibiting contractualization.

In the rally today, PALEA also called on President Duterte to ask Lucio Tan and PAL to likewise fulfill their obligation to some 600 retrenched PAL workers who have yet to be reinstated as regular workers according to the terms of a settlement agreement forged in 2013 to resolve the outsourcing dispute. President Duterte is aware of this as it was brought to his attention in a dialogue with labor groups at Malacanang last February 27.

“Four years ago last November 14, 2013, PAL signed a deal to end the contractualization row at the national flag carrier. PALEA complied with the terms of the settlement agreement including the dismantling of the picketline at the In-Flight Center. PAL however has not honored the most important provision of the agreement which is the re-employment of the outsourced workers,” explained Rivera.

The picket also coincides with a “Global Day of Action against Union Repression” that was observed by workers in Australia, Asia and North America. Yesterday, about a hundred export zone workers in Cavite held a rally as part of the global day of action.

Photos of the airport rally can be accessed at:

PALEA
November 17, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Media Advisory: In airport rally today, workers push for EO vs endo

Media Advisory
November 17, 2017
PALEA
Contact Gerry Rivera @ 09165047751

Workers push for EO vs endo in airport march

WHAT: March to demand EO vs endo

WHEN: Today, Nov 17, 9:00 am assembly

WHERE: Assembly at PALEA office then march to Philippine Airlines In-Flight Center near NAIA Terminal 2

DETAILS:

Labor groups are pushing for an executive order to prohibit contractualization subject only to certain exemptions. Members of the union Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) and PM will march this morning in support of the proposed EO. 

Yesterday different workers organizations among them Partido Manggagawa (PM), and the coalition Nagkaisa finalized the draft to be submitted to the DOLE. The EO will then be endorsed for signing by President Rodrigo Duterte, as agreed upon in a dialogue between labor groups and the DOLE last Nov. 8.

In the rally today, PALEA will also call on President Duterte to ask Lucio Tan and PAL to likewise fulfill their obligation to some 600 retrenched PAL workers who have yet to be reinstated as regular workers according to the terms of a settlement agreement forged in 2013 to resolve the outsourcing dispute. President Duterte is aware of this as it was brought to his attention in a dialogue with labor groups at Malacanang last February 27.

Women workers led protest vs abuses at Cavite ecozone


Women workers of the Taiwanese-owned electronics factory Lakepower Converter Inc. in the Cavite Economic Zone held a protest today against company abuses. Among their grievances is the removal of the door of the women’s restroom so that the company can spy on workers. Almost all of the 200 workers in the factory are women.
They are also outraged at the unreasonable limits on the use of the restroom which has led to cases of workers suffering from urinary tract infection. The dispute over the restroom is just the tip of the iceberg of worker grievances at Lakepower.
Aside from the dispute over the women’s restroom, workers are also complaining of excessive quota, discrimination against unionists resulting in suspensions and their exclusion from receiving Christmas packages.
“Management is reneging on an agreement reached a few months ago to redress our grievances. Before, we complained that the restroom door was always kept open. Through mediation, they agreed to close the door to protect the privacy of workers. But now, they removed the door entirely,” stated Mercy Tanginan, president of the Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Lakepower Converter Inc.
The picket today is the third protest at the Cavite ecozone over the last month. Earlier, garments workers held protest actions against “factory shutdown-cum-union busting.” After two protests and a strike threat, the union leaders at the Korean-owned garments factory Sein Together Phils. Inc. were eventually accepted back to work.
“ASEAN’s slogan of prosperity for all is just fake news as long as investors from Taiwan, Korea and others abuse and exploit Filipino workers. ASEAN is just facilitating a race to bottom in wages and working conditions with workers in the Philippines made to compete with workers in Vietnam, for example,” asserted Rene Magtubo, PM chair.
Media reported the exodus of Korean companies from the Philippines to Vietnam due allegedly to the high cost of doing business. Workers insist that some of the companies may just be relocating to avoid unionization.
The groups are calling on the Department of Labor and Employment and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to intervene. Workers are unionizing to improve their working conditions but are being met by extreme interference from capitalists unwilling to share the fruits of production.
The picket also coincides with a “Global Day of Action against Union Repression” to be participated in by workers in Australia, Asia and North America. ###
Photos of the protest can be accessed at:
https://www.facebook.com/partidomanggagawa/posts/10155777572314323

16 November 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

ASEAN is purely business--labor group

 
“The last 50 years of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have proven that, as a whole, the Association is greater than the sum of its parts.”
 
This tagline greets everyone who visits ASEAN2017 website. Another tagline, “Partnering for Change Engaging the World” provides the theme for this year’s summit.  But how such ‘greatness’ and ‘change’ practically mean for the working class of the region?
 
The ASEAN leaders together with their big brothers from the North and Asia and the Pacific like the US, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea and China entered and left the Philippines hospitably served by underpaid, non-unionized, contractual employees in the airports, hotels, and fine dining restaurants. Most of them and their entourage may have visited our malls also manned by contractual workers. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had in fact dropped by a popular food chain employing thousands of contractual workers.  And we can only assume that the order and cleanliness of their summit halls at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) were assigned to job order (JO) workers who were the version of contractual workers in the public sector. These are only some of the examples.
 
In other words the working class has always been the partner of ASEAN during and after its pompous summits – but only as such – the hands that serve the ‘great’ leaders, their ministers and staffs, as well as the bosses of industries who are the most important partners of ASEAN. The Association’s ‘greatness’ therefore, does not belong to us. The ‘change’ it portrays was never us.
 
The region’s civil society organizations (CSOs) describe ASEAN’s half the century of existence as “50 Years of Exclusion”.  We agree to that bold conclusion coming from the community of people with grasps of what real life is within the countries of the ASEAN region. The working class movement in the region can only share the same sentiment.
 
ASEAN, despite the ‘unprecedented growth’ it claims never became a better home for the millions of workers in the region. Not less than one fourth of the region’s population of more than 630 million still live below the poverty line. The region’s ‘stability’ is also nonsense to workers who suffer vulnerability under precarious working conditions with the rise in contractualization and informalization of labor. Half of the region’s workers live on own account under the informal economy while those in the formal sector are burdened by low pay, insecure jobs under contractual employment, and across-the-board violation of other labor standards, including the lack of social protection.
 
Freedom of association, likewise, is never free in ASEAN. This is the reason why trade union density in most countries in the region is very low compared to other regions. It is only about 8% of paid employees in the Philippines; 9% in Malaysia; around 11% in Indonesia; and less than 5% in Thailand. There are even countries in ASEAN that don’t have reliable database of their labor force. Without unions, workers are subject to abuse and different kinds of exploitation.
 
So what ‘greatness’ and ‘change’ our ASEAN leaders were talking about? ASEAN 2017 ended at the same time the most important part of the summit ended – the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS), which has always been the most important event of the summit during the last 50 years. This is because ASEAN was none other than a business conference.  It is in this area where trade deals are sealed without major disagreements.
 
But for other issues like labor and human rights, ASEAN is muted into silence as it is in these issues where ASEAN leaders hold sacred their principle of non-interference -- because ASEAN is purely business.

15 November 2017