23 March, 2021Nexperia Philippines Workers’ Union has launched a campaign for the reinstatement of its vice president Emily Barrey, whose dismissal the union claims is union busting under the guise of violating the Covid-19 health protocol.
On 19 January, Nexperia Philippines Inc dismissed Emily Barrey for breaking the rule of maximum passengers in a company shuttle bus on 15 December 2020.
In an explanation to the company’s human resource department, Barrey says that she requested the bus driver to fetch four workers in addition to the maximum 28, as the night shift workers felt unsafe to stay at dark pick-up points at 9:30 in the evening.
The pick-up point has a history of crime, and in addition to worrying about their safety, workers were concerned about reaching the company in time for the start of their shift at 10 pm.
While respecting the health protocol set by the Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task-Force (IATF), the Nexperia union argues that dismissing a veteran union leader over a minor offence is not justifiable.
Despite the union fighting the dismissal, Nexperia refused to accept the reasons given and ended Barrey’s employment on 9 February. Another grievance procedure meeting was scheduled for 24 March, but company has informed the union that this is not needed as their decision to dismissed Emily is final.
MWAP spokesperson Julius Carandang, says:
"Emily has been a dedicated union leader and rights defender in Nexperia for nearly three decades. In the context of heightening attacks against unionists in the country, her dismissal by Nexperia is tantamount to union busting. We strongly denounce this act and we call for the immediate reinstatement of Emily."
Annie Adviento, IndustriALL regional secretary for South East Asia says :
“The Covid-19 pandemic has become an easy weapon for employers to attack trade unions and remove its leaders. IndustriALL is fully support the campaign to reinstate sister Barrey; together, we will fight the rising authoritarianism in workplaces and societies.”
The Nexperia union is affiliated through IndustriALL Global Union through Metal Workers’ Alliance of the Philippines (MWAP).