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Cement unions commit to reinforce organizing in the Philippines

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18 February, 2016Having come together for a workshop on 13 – 14  February in Manila, Philippines, cement unions developed a national plan on organizing and recruiting of cement workers and precarious workers in the sector. 

Union representatives from cement plants owned by LafargeHolcim, CEMEX and CRH and representing IndustriALL Global Union affiliates Philippines Cement Workers’ Council, All Workers Alliance Trade Unions and Associated Labour Unions met in Manila, Philippines on 13 and 14 February to develop a joint approach in response to the challenges faced by workers of the cement industry following the merger of Lafarge and Holcim in July 2015.
After the merger of the world's two biggest cement producers, a number of plants were divested around the world including in the Philippines. CRH was one of the main bidders for divested capacities.
As part of the two days training organized by IndustriALL through its regional office in South East Asia, the delegates developed a plan of harmonization of their existing collective bargaining agreements and organizing and recruiting of workers of cement factories in the Philippines.
Discussing precarious work participants shared their experience on employer’s tactics used at their factories to replace the permanently employed workforce with precarious, worse paid and less protected workers. The fight against the spreading precarious employment remains one of the major challenges that need to be addressed by the cement unions in the Philippines.
During the workshop participants also had the opportunity to raise their demands and concerns directly with Feliciano Gonzalez, LafargeHolcim’s Head of Labour Relations and Social Affairs, via Skype.
Matthias Hartwich, IndustriALL director mechanical engineering and materials industries, who moderated the workshop says:

Despite a limited time and a very tight schedule this was a very inspiring meeting. IndustriALL affiliates have a big job to do after our workshop in order to implement their ambitious plans into real life. IndustriALL will continue to support our affiliates organizing cement workers in the Philippines  by all possible means, and we will continue our global campaign for LafargeHolcim to respect workers rights!