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Essilor unions in the Philippines pledge to build trade union network

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11 June, 2019Two local unions of French-based international lens makers Essilor meet to share workplace experiences and plan future cooperation within and beyond borders.

Local union officers of two Essilor unions in the Philippines, together with representatives of their respective federations, met for the first time on 8 June 2019 in the freeport area of Bataan to get to know each other and share information relative to their work.

The Essilor union located in the freeport area in Bataan was established in 1980 and is an affiliate of the Philippine Trade & General Workers' Organization (PTGWO). Optodev Inc, the manufacturing facility of Essilor in Laguna, was unionized four years ago, with its local union affiliated to the Metalworkers Alliance of the Philippines (MWAP).

The objective of the meeting is to introduce the concept of the trade union network as a space where unions in the same multinational company exchange information and best practices on collective bargaining and working conditions at different workplaces.

This follow-up activity is an offshoot of the recently concluded organizing and networking workshop on multinational corporations and global framework agreements, where participants from Essilor in Bataan and from MWAP agreed to work together to create an Essilor union network.

“We cannot exist in isolation anymore, we need to establish communication and foster greater collaboration among workers in the same company where we work for, be it at the local, regional and global level”,

said Manuel Mallonga, local union president at Essilor in Bataan.

“Trade union network is a useful strategy where our unions can exchange relevant and up-to-date information for collective bargaining purposes and other pressing issues such as safety and health,”

said Arvin Lambino, union president at Optodev Inc.

The meeting wrapped up with a commitment to sustain communication among both unions and reach out to unions in other countries, sharing collective bargaining practices and seeking support from IndustriALL Global Union on continuous capacity building and network building.

Essilor International is a French-based multinational ophthalmic optics company that designs, manufactures, and markets lenses to correct or protect eyesight. It has 80,000 employees across 70 countries.