Wednesday, December 18, 2019

DOLE asked to act on 13th month pay issue of “Grinch” company in Cavite

The labor group Partido Manggagawa today asked the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to act with dispatch on the violation of a garments company in Cavite that is refusing to give the mandated 13th month pay by December 24. Sejung Apparel Inc., a Korean-owned firm in the First Cavite Industrial Estate in Dasmarinas, issued a memo to its employees that it will give the 13th month benefit in March.

“DOLE should act now so that Sejung workers will have a merry Christmas. Workers have already brought to the attention of the DOLE the numerous violations of Sejung. A few days ago, DOLE Secretary issued a reminder to employers to abide by the law on granting the 13th month pay. We call on the DOLE to match its words with deeds,” stated Rene Magtubo, PM chair.

In the conciliation meeting called by the Labor Department last Friday, no agreement was reached as the company remained adamant that it will only give the benefit on March. “The management of Sejung Apparel Inc. is the Grinch,” asserted Josephine Odchimar, president of the workers union in the company.

Workers have put up a picketline outside the factory since Friday night to guard against machines being taken out of the factory and prevent a runaway shop. Sejung Workers are also demanding a stop the transfer of machines and an end to subcontracting of production, which led to workers being furloughed since Friday until late January.

“The company’s argument of lack of buyers is just an alibi. The truth is that production is being subcontracted by Sejung to other companies,” Odchimar asserted.

Workers believe management is maneuvering to bust the union. The union won the certification elections in August. The company temp closed down in October, a week after the union submitted a proposal for a collective bargaining agreement. Workers set-up a picketline during the shutdown and were repeatedly harassed by FCIE guards. After a month, the company reopened.

“The pattern of companies inside ecozones shutting down to bust unions is well documented. It appears that Sejung is following this modus operandi of union busting,” Magtubo asserted.

December 18, 2019

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