The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) called on Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello to act with dispatch on other cases of factory closures and even forced leave of workers. The other day, it was announced by management that the Honda plant manufacturing cars in Laguna was to be closed down.
“Other than the 387 Honda workers in Laguna that will be laidoff as a result, Secretary Bello should also look into the thousands of workers who are also victims of forced leaves and factory closures in Cavite and Cebu,” asserted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.
“The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) should prepare relief and assistance to the displaced workers together with an investigation into the causes of the forced leaves and factory closures, including compliance with labor laws,” Magtubo explained.
He added that “Under the radar, there are more cases of workers losing incomes.” PM said that the Sports City group of companies in the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) in Cebu that produce for global garments brands have been putting workers on forced leave due to reduced production.
The group also cited the declaration of electronics locators in MEZ that production is due to be affected by the ban on flights from China where parts and supplies come from. MEZ Deputy Administrator Atty. Rufino Ranulfo San Juan IV was quoted that at least one electronics company has said that it may close down if supplies from China do not arrive due to the impact of the CoVID-19 epidemic.
PM also cited the repeated temporary closure of a garments factory in Cavite which made 348 workers jobless since late last year. “DOLE should look into the Sejung Apparel Inc. firm which has closed down three times in October 2019, January 2020 and again this month. We believe this is intended to bust the union formed last year,” Magtubo insisted.
He furthered that “DOLE is also dragging its feet on releasing a compliance order on the dispute about Sejung management’s non-payment of 13th month pay and the last salary of workers. The rule is crystal clear that the 13th month pay should be given at most by December 24. Is the DOLE waiting for Holy Week before compelling a company to pay mandated Christmas benefits?”
February 24, 2020