Philippines: Workers’ rights trampled by Japanese electronics and auto supplier

26.09.2016

Japanese-owned company NT Philippines violates labour rights in the Cavite Economic Zone in the Philippines.

NT Philippines is a major supplier to electronics companies including Flextronics and Apple, and automotive companies such as Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Delphi, Jaguar, Kia, Chrysler, and Ford and among others.
 
The company uses bogus outsourcing and harasses union activists. Despite repeated demands by workers to regularize their status, management refuses comply and continues to harass the NT Phils. Inc. Workers’ Union, which fights for the workers’ rights. The union is part of IndustriALL Global Union affiliate the Confederation of Labor and Allied Social Services (CLASS).
 
Since the union was formed, the almost 900 workers at NT Philippines have struggled for regularization within the company from a bogus in-house agency. The union and CLASS filed a case with the department of labor, who found in favour of the workers, declared the agency illegal and ordered the company to absorb the workers without losing their seniority rights.
 
The company has failed to comply with this order. Workers are waiting patiently for this and other claims - such as payment of service incentive leave and other benefits as provided by law and past practices - to be implemented.
 
The company has resorted to union busting tactics and propaganda, and tries to discredit the union by spreading the threat that the company will shut down if their buyers know that the workers are unionizing.
 
The company has further violated union rights by physically removing the union president, Randy Ramos, from the factory and transferring him to a sister company, where it continues to harass him and isolates him from other union officials and workers.
 
“I feel humiliated by what our company is doing to us, even myself I was transferred away from my fellow workers, I was assigned to a post doing nothing, I was not even given a locker and a place to stay but instead the management said you can stay wherever you want as we do not care for you anymore”, said union president Ramos.
 
These acts of harassment and intimidation by the company prompted the union and CLASS to file a number of cases against NT Philippines, at the Cavite office of the labor department, at the conciliation and mediation board and at the arbitration unit. They demand the return of the union president to his former assignment and respect for the right to unionize.
 
“We demand to NT Philippines as well as to its major buyers to respect the right of the workers and uphold their commitment to internationally-recognized labour rights. Moreover, we demand for an immediate dialogue for the company to adhere to the implementation of regularization of its workers”, said Concepcion Dodd, CLASS president.
 
IndustriALL South East Asia regional secretary Annie Adviento said:
 
“The intimidation, harassment and propaganda by NT Philippines against the union is unacceptable and clearly violates international labour standards. The department of labour has ordered the company to regularize its workforce. The company needs to comply, and recognize the right of its workers to unionize.”
 
NT Philippines is a major supplier to Multek and other big electronics and automotive brands, and produces flexible printed circuits for use in mobile phones, spark plugs and other car parts.