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