Foreign investors should strictly observe and abide with local labor laws and never deny Filipino workers’ freedom to participate in trade union election.
This was the message of the Partido Manggagawa (PM) to the owners and management of a French-owned company in the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ).
In a news statement sent to the BusinessMirror on Thursday, Dennis S. Derige, PM-Cebu spokeman, criticized the “blatant interference” in the union election conducted last week by the owners and lawyer of the Kor Landa Corp.
Kor Landa Labor Union-Piglas, a union affiliated with PM, was supposed to hold an election of new set of officers on March 7.
Derige said that, on March 6, or on the eve of the certification election at the Kor Landa, a big number of the firm’s workers were “brought to a resort and were lectured overnight against voting for the union.”
Derige said that the “anti-union” activity, which he described as “abduction,” was intentionally done “[u]pon the orders of Kor Landa’s French owners, Amaury and Manuelle Christine, and company lawyer Atty. [Cecilia] Go…”
The Kor Landa Labor Union-Piglas, brought the anti-union scheme of the owners of the Kor Landa to the attention of the election officer appointed by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and asked for postponement of the union’s election.
The request was denied.
Derige said Kor Landa Labor Union-Piglas filed a protest at the DOLE 7 and walked out of the proceedings.
The case is pending at the DOLE 7.
Kor Landa is a jewelry accessories assembler at MEPZ I in Lapu-Lapu City with some 307 workers, the majority of whom are women.
In the same news statement, Derige disclosed that the union busting at the Kor Landa was “certainly not the first time that such a tactic—abducting workers before a scheduled certification election and forcing them to listen to anti-union lectures—was employed by locators at MEPZ. But by exposing this brazen interference at Kor Landa, we hope that it will be the last time so that workers can exercise the freedom to unionize and thereby improve their working conditions.”
The right to form a union is mandated by the Philippine Labor laws.
All business establishments, including the foreign-owned, are directed to observe and follow the labor laws of the country.
But “union busting” remains a serious problem in the country.
“The unfair labor practice of the Kor Landa management is a flagrant violation of the freedom of association of the women workers of the factory. It is ironic that as the nation celebrates Women’s Month, the mostly female workers of Kor Landa have been denied the right to have voice and representation,” Derigo said.
He urged DOLE 7 to uphold the right of the Kor Landa workers to form a union and allow them to hold another certification election.
bystander lang ang management sa certification elections, absolutely no interference. i hope the liable officials will get prosecuted for union busting. crime yan!