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Abuses by Apple’s supplier NXP get worse in the Philippines

28 August, 2014Apple will launch the much-anticipated iPhone 6 from September, but a key component comes from NXP Semiconductors. Both NXP and Apple are ignoring their corporate and moral responsibility for 24 sacked trade union leaders in the Philippines.

Until this grave labour rights violation is reversed, the iPhone 6 will be ethically flawed.

A broad coalition of campaigning organizations is calling on NXP to reinstate 24 trade union leaders who were illegally sacked during CBA negotiations on 5 May. However, while the company has claimed to IndustriALL that it is intervening and seeking a resolution, the reality at the plant is that management is stepping up its effort to bust the union. Serious violations of workers’ rights are occurring on a daily basis and management refuses to take the essential step of reinstating the 24 union leaders.

NXP’s union busting of the MWAP union at its Cabuyao facility near Manila is an egregious violation of international standards on labour rights. The abuses also fundamentally violate NXP’s code of conduct, as well as the ethical supply chain commitments of Apple.

Apple is a key customer of NXP and an NXP microchip will reportedly give the new iPhone 6 the capability to wirelessly pay for items like car park tickets and groceries. Over 150,000 consumers and activists wrote to Apple through a SumOfUs campaign to demand the technology giant intervenes and instructs NXP to act in line with Apple’s supply chain commitments. Although Apple have opened initial dialogue with IndustriALL, the 24 illegally sacked trade union leaders have not been reinstated.

The latest aggressive anti-union intimidation at the plant in the LISP1 special economic zone include: filing “unruly behaviour” and “loitering” charges against remaining members who are actively protesting the mass sacking of their elected representatives; security guards taking photos and video of remaining union members, including while they eat their lunch; surveillance cameras installed throughout the plant; and bans on wearing t-shirts or posting messages on social media with slogans supporting the sacked 24.

MWAP president Reden Alcantara told IndustriALL Global Union:

We continue to stand strong. We will continue to fight back against this multinational giant who refuses to respect its workers. We are drawing inspiration from your support and we will continue to count on you as we gear up for an intensified struggle.

The Philippines’ Department of Labour and Employment is mediating talks towards a solution and has made a proposal to both sides. DOLE’s offer includes a 5.2 per cent wage hike, the reinstatement of 12 out of the 24 union officials who were illegally dismissed, and a decent separation package for the other 12.

IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Jyrki Raina stated:

DOLE should be respecting the labour legislation of the Philippines and insisting on the reinstatement of the full trade union committee. MWAP, IndustriALL Global Union, and its supporters remain steadfast and clear in our call on NXP and Apple: #BringBackNXP24!