Karzai workers file Notice of Strike against contractualization, unfair labor practices

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In a historic feat to end contractualization, workers from the Karzai Corporation in Cabuyao, Laguna have filed a Notice of Strike (NOS) demanding the reinstatement of illegaly dismissed workers and the immediate regularization of all contractuals.

Karzai workers manufacture autoparts for branded motorcycles such as Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki, as well as assembly parts for Sharp washing machines. Workers set-up aprotest camp in front of the factory since  May 27 to spread awareness among the general public.

Last May 25, the Ilaw, Gabay at Pag-asa ng mga Manggagawa sa Karzai Corporation (IGPAK) filed an NOS at the National Conciliation Mediation Board. The workers demand regularization of 120 workers who comprise 90% of the total workforce including the 60 contractual who were illegally dismissed within several waves starting February 2015, and money claims for illegal deductions.

IGPAK filed for Certification Elections last May 29 after it’s successful Union Registration at the Laguna Provincial Office of the Department of Labor and Employment last May 25.

IGPAK-OLALIA Vice-Chairperson Jonathan Remos said that waves of illegal dismissal happened when they filed a complaint at the Department of Labor last February concerning Unfair Labor Practices. Other than contractualization and illegal dismissal, the list of Unfair Labor Practices filed include: Intimidation and harassment, non-payment of 13th month pay, non-payment of service incentive leave, non-payment of holiday, underpayment of night differential, regular overtime and holiday overtime premium, non-implementation of safety and due process of disciplinary action on worker, non-implementation of Wage Order #16 on Socio Economic Allowances (SEA), non-implementation of night to weekly rest day, and non-payment of rest day overtime.

Karzai Corp. has been employing its workers for 3 to 10 years under Labor Only Contracting (LOC) through subcontracting agences: Career Express, BMS, BMC and 30 other individual subcontractors. They receive a measly wage of P315 with illegal deductions such as uniform fee, ATM fee, and seminar fee among others.

“We are determined to win in our struggle for all workers to end widespread contractualization. May this be an example for workers in various factories to fight for their rights and uphold our dignity as the live-givers of economy,” Remos said.

Ariel Velasquez, Chairperson of the Liga ng mga Manggagawa Para sa Regular na Hanapbuhay stressed that this, including the ongoing fight of other factories in Southern Tagalog, is a historic event for workers in the country to concretely improve their conditions through collective action. “Contractualization is a norm that the Noynoy Aquino government seems to think that workers have silently conceded to. But Karzai workers and many others prove that the condition inside our labor industry is worsening and must be changed,” Velasquez said.

The Karzai protest camp can be found just a hundred meters away from the Tanduay workers’ picket line, who are on strike on similar issue of contractualization. #

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