The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) lambasted a French-owned company in the Mactan Economic Zone (MEPZ) for its blatant interference in the union election conducted last week. After the end of work last March 6, the eve of the certification election at Kor Landa Corp., its workers were bussed from the factory, brought to a resort and were lectured overnight against voting for the union.
“The unfair labor practice of the Kor Landa management is a flagrant violation of the freedom of association of the women workers of the factory. It is ironic that as the nation celebrates Women’s Month, the mostly female workers of Kor Landa have been denied the right to have voice and representation,” stated Dennis Derige, PM-Cebu spokesperson.
Kor Landa is a jewelry accessories assembler at MEPZ I in Lapu-Lapu City with some 307 workers. Derige related that after the end of the work shift, around 5:30 to 6:00 pm on March 6, the non-union workers were not allowed to go home and were held inside the company premises.
“Upon the orders of Kor Landa’s French owners, Amaury and Manuelle Christine, and company lawyer Atty. Go, the workers were herded to a car, a red multi-cab and four vans with plate numbers AFF 1359, 4844 and 503. The union officers tried to follow the vans but eventually lost track of the vehicles ferrying the workers. The union later learned that the workers were forced to listen to anti-union speeches for the whole night. All the workers were then brought back to the factory the next day in time for the certification election,” Derige explained.
In the certification elections held by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Kor Landa Labor Union-PIGLAS, brought the incident to the attention of the election officer and asked for postponement. After the request for postponement was denied, the union filed a protest and walked out of the proceedings. The case is presently pending at the DOLE-Region VII.
Derige averred that “This is certainly not the first time that such a tactic—abducting workers before a scheduled certification election and forcing them to listen to anti-union lectures—was employed by locators at MEPZ. But by exposing this brazen interference at Kor Landa, we hope that it will be the last time so that workers can exercise the freedom to unionize and thereby improve their working conditions.”
Derige is calling on DOLE-Region VII to uphold the right to unionize of Kor Landa workers and hold another certification election.
March 13, 2018