Symptomatic of the epidemic of labor rights violations during the time of covid-19 is the ongoing labor dispute at Arcya Glass Corp. in Laguna. Employers are exploiting the covid-19 crisis to bust unions and shift to contract work as shown by the experience of the Arcya Glass Employees Union, and others like the First Glory labor union in the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ).
Arcya Glass is a factory in an industrial estate in Calamba, Laguna. Some 200 employees, about a dozen of whom are women, were terminated after the firm filed for permanent closure in November 16. However workers are accusing the company of union busting as the factory continues to operate with a reduced workforce. Likewise the Arcya Glass Employees Union, the sole and exclusive bargaining agent for the workers, believes that the company is feigning closure as a way to replace regular workers with contractual employees who will work for less wages and benefits.
Arcya Glass union has set-up a picketline at the factory gates to protest the illegal closure and union busting. The workers are demanding the reopening of the factory, the reinstatement of the fired workers and the opening of negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.
Arcya Glass Corp. is a maker of bottles for local manufacturers like Nutriasia, CDO, Tita Ely, Emperador, Webenton Distillery, Commonwealth Foods, Global Foods, La Cometa, 90 Pacific, Malabon Soap and Guaran Foods.