July 30, 2013 Calamba, Laguna – Five months after the anomalous certification elections in the Philippine Auto Components (PAC) plant where DoLE Laguna Supervising Labor Executive Officer Marivic Martinez was caught switching ballots, workers under the Lakas Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng PAC-Independent (LNMPAC-IND) are set to hold another round of campaigning and elections for their immediate recognition as bargaining agent in August.
Grounded on the decision released by DoLE Bureau of Labor Relations Med Arbiter Maureen Zena Tongson dated July 19, the LNMPAC-IND is once again geared to undergo certification elections in August. The decision was finally released following five consecutive months of picket protests, filing of charges against Martinez, and continuous campaigning amongst their ranks.
According to the decision, “WHEREFORE, premises considered, the formal protest and/or petition to annul the certification election is hereby GRANTED. Accordingly, the Election Officer is hereby ordered to conduct a certification election within ten (10) days from receipt of this Resolution.”
“LNMPAC-IND has once again proven the veracity of its previous accusation regarding Martinez’ cheating. The decision verifies that there is truth behind the worsening Philippine labor conditions, where capitalists are able to continue their anti-worker schemes with the support of the Department of Labor and Employment, their laws and their underhanded conspiracies.” said LNMPAC-IND president Kristoffer Oliver.
At the same time, militant trade union center in Southern Tagalog Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU) expressed its support to the union, saying that this is a huge opportunity for the working class to further strengthen their ranks as they fight for their rights to wages, benefits, regular employment, and organization.
“The workers of PAC, together with workers from other unions, have demonstrated what their unified ranks and unwavering stance to establish genuine, militant, and anti-imperialist unions can do. Despite the connivance between capitalists and the DoLE, we can always stand firm in exposing them, fight for our rights, and resolutely push through with our aspirations in improving our conditions within and outside our workplaces.” Wenecito Urgel, PAMANTIK-KMU Secretary General said.
The workers are scheduled to hold shift and department meetings to unify their ranks regarding the favorable decision, and prepare for a victorious elections certification which is expected to take place in August 6, based on the 10 working day-period stated in the decision.
Our basic rights as raison d’être
The PAC workers began organizing and forming their own union in February 2012 due to low wages, insufficient benefits, and the lack of security of tenure.
“We have been in the company for 5 to 15 years, and yet our salaries are stuck at P350 per day, which is less than half of the daily living wage in the region. The contractual workers in our company, totaling to 448, have worse working conditions and only receive an average salary of P315 a day. These are our grounds for establishing a union—to assert our rights to life with dignity, and our right to freedom of association. These are rights that all workers should enjoy.” Oliver said.
Union busting, unfair labor practices common among PAC and other Toyota suppliers
“Aside from the PAC management’s direct hand in attempting to stop the workers from forming their union, union-busting and unfair labor practices have become a trend among suppliers of giant automaker Toyota. While the anomalous CE in March 2013 showed one of the most desperate and unscrupulous moves of the Department of Labor and Employment to obstruct trade unionism in the region, it is no longer surprising since Toyota itself is a notorious union-buster in the region.” Urgel stated.
“Apart from impelling PAC to follow the law and respect workers’ rights, PAMANTIK-KMU will launch an international campaign urging Toyota to intervene and oblige its suppliers to recognize workers’ rights to association and collective bargaining. This campaign will simultaneously happen with the decade-long campaign against Toyota’s anti-worker schemes and union busting case.” ended Urgel.
PAC is an affiliate company of DENSO Corporation based in Japan. Since March 7, 1995, PAC has operated in Canlubang, Calamba Laguna Philippines. Products range from fuel pump assemblies, meter assemblies, radiator assemblies, clean air filters, spark plugs, and horns which are mainly for giant auto-maker Toyota’s local and international productions.###