Jap company threatens to close

Barely two days after a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) was signed, Japanese-owned Keihin Philippines Corporation today threatened to seize operations in its factory in Laguna Technopark Incorporated (LTI) in Biñan, Laguna.

The workers were called from the production area to the canteen where company president Akihiro Takahashi announced the closure at around 8:15AM.

“Mr. Takahashi simply said that Keihin will move out to another country,” said Joel Isabela, union president of Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Manggagawa sa Keihin (NLMK), an affiliate of Organized Labor Association in Line Industries and Agriculture-Kilusang Mayo Uno (OLALIA-KMU).

“We workers don’t see any reason why the company will close when in fact we just ratified a new CBA on October 27. If the company filed a notice of closure to the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE), it would have been unreasonable for the company to proceed with the CBA ratification. Therefore, this closure is illegal,” added Isabela.

Up to this time, the workers are held in the canteen. An unverified number of Philippine National Police elements, deployed to the company just today, and company guards prevent the workers from going beyond the canteen and the adjacent locker area.

A DoLE official who refused to disclose his name was also seen in the company premises and evaded the workers.

Keihin has total work force of 106 of which 30% are women. It produces intake manifold, an important part of the air conditioning system for Honda cars. It exports 98% of its products.

“Right now, we will stay here in the factory until the management talks to us of the closure threat. We will also insist the immediate CBA implementation. Also, anytime today, we will file our notice of strike. We shall also call the attention of the Japanese Embassy to look into this matter. We will stay here even beyond All Saints Day,” Isabela said strongly.###