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