Monday, February 12, 2018

Korean garments factory interfering in workers' right to unionize

Workers at a garments factory in Cavite ecozone are facing interference in their efforts to unionize. The Korean-owned factory Dong Seung Inc. supplies to brands Ann Taylor and Macy's.

The workers of Dong Seung formed an independent union and have filed a petition for a certification election as provided for under the law. Since then the union president has been threatened by management with a criminal case, union leaders have been transferred from their departments to deny them access to other workers, management personnel have been meeting workers and propagating anti-union propaganda, union members have been denied loans, and they have been told that they can only access the loans if they withdraw membership in the independent union. Finally the Dong Seung management has formally manifested opposition to the holding of an election in a hearing conducted by the Labor Department on the petition for certification elections

As a result the independent union has filed a unfair labor practice complaint with the Labor Department. The complaint is presently being heard.

The workers union are calling on global companies Ann Inc., which owns the brand Ann Taylor, and Macy's Inc. to remediate the violations of their supplier Dong Seung Inc. based on their supplier codes of conduct which provide for respect for freedom of association and collective bargaining.

12 February 2017

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Nagkaisa hails passage of Security of Tenure Bill

Nagkaisa! is satisfied over the passage on third reading of HB 6908 on the Security of Tenure at the House of Representatives.

Nagkaisa! said that "the SOT bill is a great improvement to existing legislation as it gives more teeth to the government by providing penalties for those who will violate the security of tenure laws."

"This is the farthest a proposed law on SOT has gone for decades," said Nagkaisa! "Now, it's time to get the Senate moving on their proposed SOT measure."

"HB 6908 gives more flesh and blood to the guaranteed right to security of tenure," Nagkaisa! said. "It's not perfect or ideal, but we can live with it," said Nagkaisa!, the largest labor coalition in the country.

Fear of employers allayed

Nagkaisa! also addressed fears of employers who went on record saying that they will have a "big problem" if the proposed measure was passed. 

"If the big problem employers have about HB 6908 refers to the potential cutbacks in the windfall of profits a number of employers have been amassing through the massive abuse of workers via contractualization for decades, the bill intends to do just that," Nagkaisa! said.

 "Employers who do not abuse workers through contractualization have nothing to fear," Nagkaisa! added.

"Never in the history of employment relationship in the country has workers enjoying regular employment and implementation of strict rules in labor contracting been detrimental to the economy and job generation," Nagakaisa! said.


"Job generation is a function of the development of sectors of the economy influenced by economic policies of the government, and not by labor contracting practices," Nagkaisa explained.

A "serious problem" employers noted is that if the SOT bill becomes a law, it will be detrimental to the economy and job creation. 

Nagksaisa! countered the argument. "Workers with regular employment generate more income, thus, with more purchasing power contribute to increasing demand in goods and services that lead to higher income taxes and VAT for the government.  These are all good for the economy," said Nagkaisa.


"The fear that the HB can lead to unemployment is only possible if they are not paying their contractual employees what the law currently demands. In other words, their argument is an admission that they are doing business at the expense of workers’ rights - and they want to continue doing so," Nagkaisa! added.

The recent statement by the employers didn't specify which provisions of the bill they strongly disagree with.

Nagkaisa! said it was grateful to Labor Committee Chair Rep. Ting who steered the discussions and Rep. Raymond Mendoza of TUCP Partylist and Rep. Tom Villarin of Akbayan Partylist who co-authored the SOT Bill and helped defend it together with Nagkaisa.

30 January 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Nagkaisa! supports HB 6908 on security of tenure

With its provisions that can be considered as marked improvement from existing laws and regulations pertaining to labor contracting, particularly Article 106 of the labor code and DO 174, rules and regulations on labor contracting promulgated by the DOLE last March 2017, Nagkaisa!, the largest labor coalition of worker’s union and labor organization in the country supports HB 6908, an act strengthening workers security of tenure, which was approved on second reading by the house of representatives last January 23.

Among these provisions are:
a) Disallowing subcontracting of jobs already contracted out by principal employers;

(b) Disallowing any form of fixed-term employment;

(c) Any one of the three conditions found present on the the employment relationship between the labor contractor and employees dispatched to principal employers, such employment relationship is deemed labor-only contracting. These conditions are (1) labor contractor has no substantial capital in the form of investment and tools, (2) the labor contractor has no control over the worker’s method and means in performing their function, and (3) workers recruited and dispatched perform functions which are directly related to the principal busines of the employer; and

(d) Labor contractors found violating labor-only contracting provisions of this act shall be fined Php 30,000 for each worker engaged in labor-only contracting arrangement but the total amount of the fine shall not exceed Php 5 million.

Nagkaisa! admits that HB 6908 is not a perfect bill to prohibit all forms of labor contracting. However, the marked improvement in its provisions would surely address to a great deal widespread use of contractual labor in the country, and thus strengthening workers’ security of tenure and the exercise of their right to organize and collectively bargain compared to the present laws and regulations pertaining to labor contracting.

Nagkaisa now calls on the Senate to introduce more prohibitive provisions in their version of bills pertaining to security of tenure so as to further improve what HB 6908 has achieved.

Finally, we thank the efforts made by Cong. Ting, Chairperson of the Labor Committee, representatives of TUCP and Akbayan! partylists, and the rest of the co-authors of HB 6908 for successfully defending and passing it on second reading.

25 January 2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Advisory: DOLE to hold mediation today at Cavite picketline

Media Advisory
January 19, 2018
Partido Manggagawa
Contact Mercy Tanginan (union pres) @ 09300767018

DOLE to hold mediation tom at Cavite picketline
WHAT: DOLE to hold mediation between striking women workers and electronics firm Lakepower Converter Inc. in bid to resolve bitter dispute

WHEN: Today, January 19 (Friday), 2:00 pm

WHERE: Lakepower factory, Lot 3, Block 13, Phase 1, Cavite Economic Zone, Rosario, Cavite


In a mediation meeting at the DOLE national office last Wednesday, management stuck to its position of punishing the striking workers. The case will be submitted to the Labor Secretary for decision even as another mediation is scheduled today at the picketline.

Women workers of electronics firm Lakepower in Cavite ecozone have been on strike for more than a month now. The workers are demanding a stop to the termination and suspension of union officers and members. The protracted labor dispute is a litmus test of the right to unionize for workers in the export processing zones. ###

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Advisory: Striking Cavite women workers to protest today at DOLE main office and call for Labor Secretary intervention

Media Advisory
January 17, 2017
Partido Manggagawa
Contact Mercy Tanginan (union pres) @ 09300767018

Striking Cavite women workers to protest today at DOLE main office and call for Labor Secretary intervention
WHAT: Labor Secretary asked to intervene as mediation scheduled between striking women workers and electronics firm Lakepower Converter Inc.

WHEN: January 17 (Wednesday), 9:00 am

WHERE: DOLE National office, Intramuros, Manila

Women workers of electronics firm Lakepower in Cavite ecozone have been on strike for more than a month now. They are calling on the office of the Labor Secretary to intervene to resolve the protracted dispute. The workers are calling for a stop to the termination and suspension of union officers and members. The protracted labor dispute is a litmus test of the right to unionize for workers in the export processing zones. ###