CALAMBA, LAGUNA—Workers from an electronics company in Carmelray Industrial Park I (CIP1) in Canlubang staged a motorcade and program as a sign of victory from their recent Certification Election (CE).
Electronics workers from Fuji Electric Philippines (FEP) in CIP1 launched a celebratory rally at Checkpoint, Calamba, Laguna this afternoon. At exactly 3:00PM, after their daily shift, the workers conducted a motorcade from CIP1 parading flags, banners, and streamers of victory. At 5:00PM, members of the Lakas ng Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Fuji Electric Philippines – Independent (Strength of United Workers of Fuji Electric Philippines – Independent or LNMFEP-Ind) held a program to rejoice their triumph in the recent CE in FEP last September 19, 2014.
Genuine, militant, nationalist union
LNMFEP-Ind was the first ever genuine, militant, nationalist union to be established and recognized in a company inside the CIP1.
According to Allan Bagas, Secretary General of the Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan – Kilusang Mayo Uno (Solidarity of Workers in Southern Tagalog – May First Movement or PAMANTIK-KMU), “FEP workers receive an average of P400 as their daily wage, and limited consideration on their health and transportation benefits. They also experience forced OT—regular shift lasts as long as 12 hours everyday. The workers’ hunger for sufficient wage and humane benefits pushed them to organize their ranks in 2012 and formally establish LNMFEP-IND through a General Membership Meeting last April 13. Continuous, massive educational discussions on the members, regarding the current national and trade union issues an their role to change their plight, surefied their way to a united and solid union.”
Intense trade union repression begets strong militant action
The workers’ union in Fuji encountered numerous accounts of harassment and threats from the management in its attempt to bully and abolish the union as early as its establishment.
As said by Ezer Neil Natividad, LNMFEP-IND president, “On the eve of September 19, police force were scattered all over the factory. Before the CE the next day, the Fuji management directed that Ms. Nora Aguilar, Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) representative to the election, our legal adviser, and I, be restricted to enter CIP1, so we were held at the gates, the guard admitted that this was the very first time that it happened. Voters were also held at the gates of FEP to prevent them from casting their votes.”
Natividad added that the union’s legal adviser, Steve Mendoza, experienced harassment from the management as well.
Bagas, accounted that, “A specific instance happened last CE where a challenge voter has wrongly casted his vote on the ballot box, the management’s legal counsel entered the voting room, so, Mendoza insisted to enter, too, but the guard embraced him, he was refrained from entering the room. The management knew that having a genuine, militant, and nationalist union in their company would limit their chances to squeeze-out more profit from the blood and sweat of these workers leaving them with none. They knew that these organized workers would fight for what is just, so, as early as the CE – they tried to destroy the union.”
The tally showed 298 YES, 170 NO, and 4 Spoiled out of 504 total regular rank and file workers, resulting to a landslide victory in favor of the workers.
“We are so pleased by the workers’ determination to establish and elect a genuine, militant, and nationalist union as a forefront to fighting for their rights in and outside the factory. Whatever effort the management has performed to destroy and keep us from winning lost, the workers won. It is in our solidarity, in our union, that we will find the way to succeed for a just wage, job security, and decent living.” Ended Natividad.###