2 March, 2021Twenty-five Philippine leather workers at Provision Garments Apparel’s (PGA) Manggahan branch are on strike over the illegal closure of the factory, demanding immediate reinstatement of all workers with back pay and that collective bargaining is resumed.
On 5 November 2019, IndustriALL affiliate Trade Federation on Garments, Textile, Footwear, Plastic, Leather and Allied Industries (TF2-KD) successfully organized the workers at PGA, obtaining the status of sole and exclusive bargaining agent (SEBA) for the PGA Union.
But instead of bargaining with the union in good faith, the company filed a petition for a cancellation of SEBA with the department of labour and employment, who re-affirmed the union’s status as bargaining agent.
However, on 21 September 2020, management informed all 173 workers that the factory would be permanently closed within a month. Severance pay cheques were distributed to all workers but rejected by local union officials, as it is in violation of the labour code.
The union has lodged a complaint of unfair labour practice with the district office of the department of labour. Union members have been on strike and held a rally in front of PGA head office in Makiling, Calamba City, on 24 February 2021.
Laudicia Casana, TF2-KD president, says:
“Local union leaders discovered that the company had opened a new factory in the export processing zone in Sto Tomas, Batangas, with same management team. This is an unscrupulous tactic commonly used by employers to avoid unions.
"The company must respect the union and convene a collective bargaining meeting immediately and all workers must be reinstated at the Manggahan factory with back pay.”
In a letter to the company, IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches condemned the union busting and urged the company to enter into social dialogue with TF2-KD:
“The employer must act in full accordance with national labour law and international core labour standards, please reinstate all workers and resume collective bargaining.”