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Pharmaceutical workers in the Philippines defend trade union rights

15 April, 2015Workers from Boie-Takeda staged a picket in front of Takeda Pharmaceutical Philippines office in Makati City on 31 March to defend union rights and respect for collective agreement.

On 31 March, around 35 employees of Takeda Pharmaceutical marched along the busy streets of Makati City, calling for the management to respect and recognize the union and the existing collective agreement valid until 2017.

The dispute stems from a planned corporate restructuring program. Takeda Healthcare Philippines Inc. will replace Takeda Pharmaceutical Philippines, and the move will practically dissolve the existence of the union, Boie-Takeda Employees Union, affiliated to Trade Federation 3, an IndustriALL Global Union affiliate.

Fearing the effect this corporate plan will have on the employees, the union communicated their concerns to management. Union officers were then told to submit a re-application; failure on such would mean their outright termination from employment. The company further insisted that the union will be cease to exist effective 31 March 2015, as it will be under a new corporation.

“It is a fundamental right of the workers to exercise their freedom of association and right to collective bargaining and these rights have to be respected that whatever changes in how the company operates, those rights should not be compromise, said Runstedt Pelayo, President of TF-3.

As soon as the conflict started, IndustriALL Global Union’s Japanese affiliate UA Zensen and its member the Takeda Union started to take direct engagement with the company management to support the struggle in the Philippines.

“We support our brothers and sisters in the Philippines and their fight for the universal rights of freedom of association and the right to negotiate, as stated in ILO Conventions 87 and 98”, said UA Zensen in its statement.