Workers at Furukawa Automotive System Incorporated have won a major victory as the certification election held 9-10 January this year resulted in a landslide in favour of having a union at their workplace.
Close to 1,500 workers voted in favour of union representation at the auto parts manufacturer. The company has a workforce of 5,000, of whom more than fifty per cent are agency-hired and non-regular.
The fight for union recognition at Furukawa was attained after a long struggle, with collective support of trade unions led by Philippine Metalworkers Alliance (PMA), the Japan Council of Metalworkers’ union, global union federations and other organizations.
A certification election is a process in the industrial relations in the Philippines that determines through secret ballot the sole and exclusive bargaining agent in an appropriate bargaining unit for purposes of collective bargaining.
Despite local management trying to thwart the formation of a union at the company, Furukawa workers remained steadfast and vigilant until they won. With the solidarity support of different union organizations and the dedicated organizers of PMA, they kept up the pressure.
Valter Sanches, general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, called on Furukawa Automotive Systems to respect fundamental workers’ rights, particularly the right to organize and to bargain collectively.
In a message of support to the leadership of PMA, he said:
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with the brothers and sisters of the Furukawa Employees Welfare Union at Furukawa Automotive Systems Lima Philippines in their struggle to achieve trade union recognition and collective bargaining recognition.”
Furukawa Automotive Systems is a Japanese company located in one of the special economic zone in Lipa City, south of metro Manila. The company manufactures wire harnesses, connectors and functional components for cars for major automobile brands.