Workers from the recently closed Hoya Glass Disk Philippines trooped to different government agencies on Wednesday to demand their reinstatement. Together with other illegally dismissed workers under the Kaisahan ng Manggagawang Iligal na Tinanggal (KAMIT), the group insisted that the widespread dismissal and loss of jobs among workers in the region are direct upshots of government-induced labor flexibilization and persistent attack on the labor sector.
The workers trooped to the National Labor Relations Commission, Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Japanese Embassy, Philippine Economic Zones Authority, and Department of Labor and Employment to demand their immediate reinstatement and demand that the companies pay damages.
On April 30, labor day eve, 2600 workers lost their jobs as Hoya Glass Disk in FPIP Tanauan, Batangas declared closure due to ‘a slump in profits’. However, according to the company’s financial statement submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Hoya Glass Disk’s profit grew by $10 million from $27 million in 2012 to $37 million in 2013.
“We are certain that the real reason for the closure is far beyond the phony slump in profits. We produce in-demand glass disks for well-known brands such as Seagate, Hitachi, Western Digital, and S Howa Denko—enough to say that the company is and will continue to earn millions of dollars each year. The company obviously closed following our successful union registration, with the fear of the capitalist that this will mean lesser profit for them in the future. The union is our voice in demanding higher wages, regular employment, and other benefits that define our humanity, but is considered by capitalists as the primary restraint to pocketing increasing profit.” Ian Ordoño, Kalipunan at Saligan ng Manggagawa sa HOGP-IND, said.
In Southern Tagalog, more than 7000 workers lost their jobs from February to April, including 3600 workers from Carina Apparel in Biñan. A day before the company implemented a mass forced leave that led to the closure, the workers’ union and the management was set to begin negotiations for another collective bargaining agreement.
At the NXP Semiconductors Inc., 24 union leaders were illegally dismissed by the company due to ‘illegal strike’, citing the mass absence of workers on government declared holidays on April 9, 17, 18 and May 1. The illegal dismissal took place in the midst of a stalled collective bargaining negotiations between the union and the management.
Contractual employees are likewise common victims of illegal dismissals in the region, the group said.
“In Southern Tagalog, more than 70% of workers are under different contractualization schemes. Despite laws that supposedly ‘protect’ workers, capitalists implement Labor Only Contracting to obtain bigger profits through paying very low wages, denying benefits, restraining workers from forming their unions. These inhumane conditions are implemented under the direct consent of the Aquino administration, which has been consistent in attacking the labor sector during his four years in office.” Sherycyl Platino, Liga ng Manggagawang Kontraktwal spokesperson said.
“Workers have long been suppressed by this cold-hearted regime that only serves for the benefit of foreign capitalists. It is in this context that we are preparing to take part in a pambansang lakbayan that will culminate in a massive mobilization during Aquino’s State of the Nation Address and call for the puppet president’s ouster.” Joycee Rosales, Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo Uno Deputy Secretary General ended.###