29 September, 2014International trade union solidarity flexed its muscles over the last five months in defence of NXP workers under attack in the Philippines. The campaign succeeded in overturning this company’s union-busting attack. A new labour agreement with major gains was signed on 26 September.
Twelve dismissed members of the union’s executive will return to work, the other twelve will receive decent separation packages and become full time trade union activists, wage hikes of 12.25% over three years will be much higher than what the company previously said was possible, and a significant number of contractual workers will be regularized. But most important for the NXP workers, the company’s brutal attempt to bust the union was defeated.
See the official MWAP statement here.
Dutch multinational NXP Semiconductors sacked all 24 elected union officials at its plant in a special economic zone in Cabuyao on 5 May for taking time off on national holidays.
A number of security measures meant to intimidate workers were taken. The zone was flooded with police, shuttle buses for the workers were heavily guarded, checkpoints were put up and goons wearing civilian clothes patrolled the plant.
“It appeared that NXP and the government were colluding to destroy one of the only unions present in the special economic zone,” said IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina. “IndustriALL worked closely with MWAP and allies to mount a powerful campaign.”
An impressive local campaign by MWAP was supported internationally. Actions included large pickets outside of negotiations venues, and the NXP facility, national mobilizations, national support from all 15 IndustriALL affiliates in the Philippines, corporate customer action especially focused on Apple who received over 150,000 petitions and 14,000 official complaints through SumOfUs, a wide-reaching social media campaign flagging the labour rights flaw in the new iPhone 6, outreach and collaboration with the business and human rights community spread the news and built support for MWAP, and a LabourStart campaign targeted NXP management.
More support came from international partners in the form of demonstrations at Apple Stores by United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) in Los Angeles and Chicago, with participation from USW activists and leaders. Further demonstrations were planned had settlement not been reached.
IndustriALL outreached to unions representing NXP workers in other countries to build support for MWAP. It also worked with unions at many of NXP’s top customers to pressure these customers to demand that NXP end its attack on MWAP.
A number of IndustriALL affiliates including AMWU, IF Metall, IG Metall, Metalliliitto, Unite and USW provided critical support in the campaign. IndustriALL’s sister global union UNI also provided critical support.
“We believe that we have waged a strong battle resulting in a major victory,” said Reden Alcantara, MWAP National President and one of the 12 union leaders who will not return to work for NXP. “We encountered many difficulties in this long and painstaking struggle but we never stopped searching for solutions. We have come this far because of the unity of our members and the all-out support of our global union IndustriALL and of our other supporters and friends from the local and international community.”
The NXP management failed to bust our union. That, to us, is our biggest victory.