5 – No guarantee of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Philippines

The ITUC affiliates in the Philippines are the Alliance of Progressive Labour (APL), the
Federation of Free Workers (FFW) and the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).

In practice

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Another union leader murdered23-09-2016

Edilberto Miralles, a former president of the R&E Taxi Transport union, was gunned down in a drive-by shooting on 23 September 2016 in front of the National Labour Relations Commission (NLRC) in Quezon City, where he was scheduled to attend a hearing. He was shot by two men on a motorcycle who sped off after the attack. The police did not know the motive for the killing, but some union members believed it could be related to a labour dispute labour dispute See industrial dispute .

Labour rights activist and community leader murdered 17-09-2016

Orlando Abangan, an organiser for the trade union organiser Sentro and a community leader for the Partido Manggagawa (PM), was shot at close range by a lone gunman around 8:00 a.m. on 17 September 2016 while he was on his way home in Sitio Lawis, Barangay Maghaway in Talisay City. Orlando Abangan was a dedicated human and labour rights activist and had recently begun organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. informal sector workers for Sentro. He was also an outspoken critic of the government’s “war on drugs”. His assailant seemed to have been lying in wait for him, and fired several shots. His murder came after a spate of extra-judicial killings.

Suspended and sacked for involvement in union action30-01-2017

Management at the 5-star Peninsula Manila hotel dismissed Jenny Marcos, a member of the Board of Directors of the Peninsula Employees Union, on 3 January 2017. It also suspended Francisco Aliansas, another member of the union’s board of directors, and Cesar Pagaling, president of the union’s supervisors’ chapter, for 15 days. The dismissal and suspensions followed the union’s participation in the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) Global Housekeepers Campaign.

The union had negotiated improvements in the collective agreement and better working conditions for housekeepers, and in 2015 secured unprecedented government inspections of working conditions at hotels. The Manila Peninsula was ordered to regularise 405 casual employees including 55 housekeepers at the hotel as a result.

Peninsula management resisted implementation of the order, and used the union’s participation in the global housekeeper campaign as a pretext to sack Jenny Marcos and to suspend her two colleagues. Management also supported a yellow union yellow union A union set up and/or controlled by the employer to prevent the establishment of a genuine trade union. to challenge the National Union of Workers in Hotels, Restaurants and Allied Industries (NUWHRAIN) unions’ legal certification for collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
. The company union company union Can be used to describe either an enterprise union or a yellow union. was soundly defeated in an election on 30 January 2017, but management reneged on an agreement negotiated under government auspices which would have suspended rather than terminated Jenny Marcos and allowed NUWHRAIN to contest the disciplinary measures through the customary legal channels. The Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) assumed final jurisdiction, and was due to impose a binding decision.

Union busting at NT Philippines01-09-2016

The Japanese-owned company NT Philippines, based in the Cavite Economic Zone, responded to the formation of a workers’ union with union-busting tactics. The intimidation and harassment reached a level where the Confederation of Labour and Allied Social Services (CLASS) felt compelled to file a number of cases against the electronics company, at the Cavite office of the Labour Department, at the Conciliation conciliation An attempt by a neutral third party, a conciliator, to aid the settling of an industrial dispute by improving communications, offering advice and interpreting issues to bring the disputing parties to a point where they can reconcile their differences. The conciliator does not take as active a role as a mediator or an arbitrator.

See arbitration, mediation
and Mediation mediation A process halfway between conciliation and arbitration, in mediation a neutral third party assists the disputing parties in reaching a settlement to an industrial dispute by suggesting possible, non-binding solutions.

See arbitration, conciliation
Board and at the Arbitration arbitration A means of resolving disputes outside the courts through the involvement of a neutral third party, which can either be a single arbitrator or an arbitration board. In non-binding arbitration, the disputing parties are free to reject the third party’s recommendation, whilst in binding arbitration they are bound by its decision. Compulsory arbitration denotes the process where arbitration is not voluntarily entered into by the parties, but is prescribed by law or decided by the authorities.

See conciliation, mediation
Unit, in September 2016.

Since the NT Phils. Inc Workers’ Union was formed, the almost 900 workers at NT Philippines have struggled for regularisation within the company, which had created a bogus in-house agency. The union and CLASS filed a case with the Department of Labour (DOLE), which 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 failed to comply with the order, however, and instead resorted to union busting union busting Attempts by an employer to prevent the establishment of a trade union or remove an existing union, e.g. by firing union members, challenging unions in court, or by forming a yellow union. tactics and propaganda, threatening that the company would shut down if their buyers knew that the workers were unionising.

Management also removed the union president, Randy Ramos, from the factory and transferred him to a sister company, where it continues to harass him and isolate him from other union officials and workers.

Consistent refusal to recognise union at golf and country club01-06-2016

In June 2016 the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) reported that five years after the union at Mount Malarayat Golf and Country Club won legal recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. , management was still refusing to recognise it and to respect the right to collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
.

In 2010 workers at the Mount Malarayat Golf & Country Club in Batangas organised a union with the support of NUWHRAIN, the independent national union of hotel, restaurant and resort workers, in 2010, and the union won legal recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. the following year. Management reacted with a legal challenge, however, that falsely claimed that all workers were casuals hired through a labour hire agency. This effectively denied Mount Malarayat Golf and Country Club workers access to their right to unionise and bargain collectively for the next five years.

NUWHRAIN finally won a legal decision on 24 September 2015, and the union officially received a legal order in early 2016. The union immediately submitted its collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
proposal to management, but management again refused to enter into negotiations. The union responded with protest actions that ended on 11 June, when the Secretary of Labour ordered compulsory arbitration arbitration A means of resolving disputes outside the courts through the involvement of a neutral third party, which can either be a single arbitrator or an arbitration board. In non-binding arbitration, the disputing parties are free to reject the third party’s recommendation, whilst in binding arbitration they are bound by its decision. Compulsory arbitration denotes the process where arbitration is not voluntarily entered into by the parties, but is prescribed by law or decided by the authorities.

See conciliation, mediation
.

Armed police confront union officials amid ongoing Verizon dispute12-04-2016

On 12 April 2016 four members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) were confronted by police after visiting Verizon offices in the Philippines. They were visiting the Philippines to investigate claims that Verizon was outsourcing outsourcing See contracting-out far more jobs than it claimed from the US to underpaid workers in the Philippines.

A video taken of the confrontation shows that the four union reps were chased off by private security forces and even armed police – who appeared to be tactical officers carrying automatic weapons – who pursued their van through the streets of Alabang and ultimately stopped them for questioning, guns drawn.
“It was like being in a movie – they were dressed all in black with masks and automatic rifles,” said Tim Dubnau, one of the four union reps in the van.

After the escalation eased, the four were taken to the police station and later released, with no charges.

Union busting at electronics company04-05-2016

Ever since workers at Seung Yeun Technology Industries Corp. (SYTIC), a Korean-owned electronics firm based in the Cavite Export Processing Zone export processing zone A special industrial area in a country where imported materials are processed before being re-exported. Designed to attract mostly foreign investors by offering incentives such as exemptions from certain trade barriers, taxes, business regulations, and/or labour laws. (EPZ export processing zone A special industrial area in a country where imported materials are processed before being re-exported. Designed to attract mostly foreign investors by offering incentives such as exemptions from certain trade barriers, taxes, business regulations, and/or labour laws. ), formed a union, they have faced a campaign of harassment and intimidation, threats of closure and offers of separation pay.

The union was initially formed to address issues such as having part of their wages paid in the form of meals, illegal deductions from wages for company events and the non-payment of overtime. One union officer was physically assaulted inside the factory, interrogated at the EPZ export processing zone A special industrial area in a country where imported materials are processed before being re-exported. Designed to attract mostly foreign investors by offering incentives such as exemptions from certain trade barriers, taxes, business regulations, and/or labour laws. ’s administrative office about her participation in the union, and finally was faced with a legal case brought by management. Before the case could be heard, however, she was abruptly dismissed in March 2016 together with 19 others for alleged reduced orders, despite the fact that the factory remained on three shifts and later two shifts on forced overtime.

After two mediation mediation A process halfway between conciliation and arbitration, in mediation a neutral third party assists the disputing parties in reaching a settlement to an industrial dispute by suggesting possible, non-binding solutions.

See arbitration, conciliation
meetings with management convened by the Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) failed to find a solution, the workers union called a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
on 11 April to press for the reinstatement of their colleagues.

Management threatened to close down the factory on 4 May and told non-union employees that they would be rehired once the factory re-opened.

A further mediation mediation A process halfway between conciliation and arbitration, in mediation a neutral third party assists the disputing parties in reaching a settlement to an industrial dispute by suggesting possible, non-binding solutions.

See arbitration, conciliation
meeting called by the DOLE led to the reinstatement of 18 of the dismissed workers. The two others agreed to a separation package. The strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
was called off after five days.

Shots fired at protesting banana workers15-04-2016

Just after midnight on 2 April 2016, gunmen opened fire on a protest camp set up by banana workers in Pantukan, Compostela Valley, narrowly missing three members of the Musahamat (Farm 2) Workers Labour Union. The union is affiliated to the Kilusang Mayo Uno-Southern Mindanao Regional chapter (KMU-SMR), which described the shootings as attempted murder.
The camp was set up by the workers from Musahamat Farm 2 after they voted to go on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
on 28 March to demand the reinstatement of 52 colleagues. The shooting followed an attempt to burn down the camp.

The union had been in an ongoing dispute with Musahamat, a multinational company that produces and exports bananas and other fruits. In 2015 the union filed a complaint against army officers who had forcibly interrogated union officers. Since that time the KMU-SMR said the banana workers’ union members and leaders had to live and work with daily threats by management and state forces. In February 2016, the union defeated a smear campaign attempting to link them to the New People’s Army (NPA), and won the elections as the bargaining agent bargaining agent A workers’ representative authorised to bargain collectively on behalf of workers in a bargaining unit.

See collective bargaining
for workers at Musahamat. Revenge soon followed. After 6 February 2016, 52 contract workers were dismissed and 19 were placed under 30-day suspension. Esperidion Cabaltera, president of the banana workers’ union, said Musahamat is an “incorrigible union buster” which wants to remove leaders and staunch supporters of the KMU union because “it does not want us around demanding our rights”.

The shooting on the strikers’ camp happened less than a day after police opened fire at demonstrating farmers in Kidapawan City demanding rice in the wake of a drought. Two protesters were killed in that incident.

The Musahamat dispute was settled on 15 April 2016, with the reinstatement of the 52 as regular workers.

Avon dismissed workers’ representatives15-12-2015

Avon management dismissed 16 worker representatives from its production plant in the Calamba industrial zone outside Manila just a few days before Christmas 2015. The workers had questioned Avon’s employment practices, notably the use of precarious employment and short-term contracts. Only about 120 of the mainly women employees are directly employed, while the other 350 are hired through labour agencies. The agencies workers are paid the minimum monthly wage of PHP 7000 (USD 146). Many of the contract workers have been performing jobs that are part of the core business of the company for years. They work on production lines together with their regularly employed colleagues.

Avon local management had accused the workers’ representatives of conducting an “illegal strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
” in September 2015 when they were in collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
for an agreement on working conditions that would be effective from February 2014 until January 2017. The final round of negotiations took place in September, and the collective agreement was signed by the union and management on 16 September 2015. Despite the signing of the agreement, the 16 were dismissed at the end of the year.

Violent repression of striking distillery workers22-09-2015

Striking distillery workers faced violent repression when they set up a picket line. Contract workers at the Tanduay distillery organised under the banner Tanggulan, Ugnayan, Daluyan ng Lakas ng Anakpawis ng Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TUDLA) launched a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
on 18 May 2015 in protest at being effectively dismissed for organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. . They set up a picket line outside the Tanduay compound at the gates of the Asia brewery complex.

On the first day, management attempted twice to disperse the workers using water cannon. This followed attacks on the picket line by a combined force of company security guards and the police hitting the strikers with truncheons, and throwing stones and bottles at them. The following day security guards threw bottles and rocks at the picket line, hitting and strikers in the process. The area became littered with shards of glass, and at least 50 strikers were injured.

The contract workers had asked to be placed on permanent contracts. On 22 June the regional office of the Department of Labour and Employment (DoLE) issued an order directing Tanduay Distillers Inc. to regularise the striking contractual workers. The company countered by filing an appeal. On 25 August, the DoLE national office issued a decision affirming its regional office’s order.

The company failed to comply with the order, and on 22 September TUDLA organised another strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
and protest demonstration. Management again responded with violence. When the marching strikers arrived at the brewery, they were greeted with rocks thrown by the company’s security guards, while an Asia Brewery fire truck blasted them with water. A police vehicle at the rear of the march reportedly tried to run demonstrators over. A video released by the Ecumenical Institute for Labour Education and Research, Inc. (EILER) showed the police car arriving at the company gate in full throttle, turning around and getting dangerously close to the protesting workers. One of the police officers also fired two gunshots as warning on striking workers.

Distillery dismisses workers for organising31-05-2015

Some 200 contract workers employed by Tanduay Distillers Inc. were effectively sacked in May 2015, after they tried to form a workers’ association. The company employed nearly 400 contract workers and only 40 regular workers. Most of the contract workers had been employed for between five and 11 years continuously by Tanduay and by law should have been made regular workers. As contract workers, they were paid less than regular workers, in most cases below the minimum wage.

They decided to organise under the banner Tanggulan, Ugnayan, Daluyan ng Lakas ng Anakpawis ng Tanduay Distillers Inc. (TUDLA) to demand regular contracts and better safety protection. In response management forced them to go on a five-day leave starting on April 24, and forced them to sign a waiver that would retract their calls for regularisation. Then on 15 May nearly all workers organised under TUDLA were not given a work schedule, which based on previous practice was tantamount to dismissal.

Union leaders face dismissal at chemical company that fails to honour agreement31-07-2015

In July 2015 the National Labour Relations Commission (NLRC) Regional Arbitration arbitration A means of resolving disputes outside the courts through the involvement of a neutral third party, which can either be a single arbitrator or an arbitration board. In non-binding arbitration, the disputing parties are free to reject the third party’s recommendation, whilst in binding arbitration they are bound by its decision. Compulsory arbitration denotes the process where arbitration is not voluntarily entered into by the parties, but is prescribed by law or decided by the authorities.

See conciliation, mediation
Board (RAB) declared a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
by workers at Cenapro Chemicals illegal. The workers strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
, in protest at forced overtime, took place in October 2014, and lasted 22 days. It was lifted following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between management and union on 8 November 2014.

According to the MOA the management would end forced overtime, hire additional workers, and not take reprisals against the union. Over six months later, forced overtime continued, no relief staff had been hired, and 11 union officers faced dismissal for their role in the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
.

Workers were concerned about health and safety at the plant, following a string of workplace accidents, including the mutilation of hands after being caught in machinery. They were also concerned that a number of incidents of cancer and cardiac arrest were work related. The company forced it workers to do 16-hour shifts, exposed to harmful chemicals, extreme heat and black dust from charcoal.

Union members laid off in bank merger30-12-2015

On 30 December, 11 messengers and janitors were dismissed by the Planters Development Bank, recently merged with China Bank Savings Inc., during negotiations for a new collective agreement. Their union, the Planters Development Bank Employees Association (PDBEA,) had sought security of tenure for the workers, most of whom were themselves union officials. The Ecumenical Institute for Labour Education and Research, Inc. (EILER) believed the reason behind the dismissals was to undermine the collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
process and weaken the union. The aim was apparently to replace the dismissed workers with contract labour.

Harassment against COURAGE activists continues16-09-2015

Just weeks after the Supreme Court granted the petitions for writ of amparo and writ of habeas data filed by activists from the Confederation of Unity, Recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), the harassment resumed.
On 17 August 2015 Raquel Toquero, one of the activists who sought protection from the courts, discovered a fake Facebook account in her name. It had the same cover photo and the same profile picture of her genuine Facebook account. The status posts, however, were different.

Some of her colleagues also found themselves in the same predicament.
Toquero believed state agents were behind it. A week later a man came to her home claiming to be a police officer investigating the case, but did not present any ID, and seemed more interested in asking about Toquero’s activities. During previous visits by people assumed to be government agents, she had been told, “We know who you are. We can help you if you stop what you are doing.”

On 16 September four men who introduced themselves as policemen went to the house of Roman Sanchez, president of the National Food Authority Employees Union, in Los Banos, Laguna. They knew he wasnt’ there, but they questioned his wife.

Later other activists reported similar incidents. The military and the police had been requested to file their responses with the courts. The activists concerned also filed complaints with the Commission on Human Rights and the International Labour Organisation (ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
).

Military harass union officials with surveillance and threats31-07-2015

On 22 June 2015 a soldier approached Renato Asa, public information officer for the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) national trade union centre trade union centre A central organisation at the national, regional or district level consisting of affiliated trade unions. Often denotes a national federation or confederation. , as he was leaving his home. The soldier tried to recruit him as an informant for the military, and seemed to be threatening that his life would be in danger if he refused. The soldier asked Asa to decide immediately about “cooperating” with the military, “before it’s too late.”
On 29 June, members and leaders of the Confederation of Unity, Recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) union filed complaints about very similar cases of harassment with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) regarding state agents trying to coerce them into stopping their union activities. The complainants said they had been under surveillance by military agents and had received personal visits. An earlier complaint was filed on 8 June for harassment against leaders of the organisation, but the harassment then became more persistent and spread to COURAGE staff and organisers.
The complainants included Elvie Prudencio, president of the National Wages and Productivity Commission Employees Association and national president of the Department of Labour and Employment Employees Union; Erwin Lanuza, president of Kasamaka QC, a union of Quezon City Hall employees and national president of the League of LGU Employees; Benny Angeles, a retired Metropolitan Manila Development Authority employee and a former officer of the KKK-MMDA union; and members of the COURAGE national staff.

A total of 25 complainants reported that they were followed and visited in their homes by men they suspected to be military agents who accused them of being communists and told them that they should surrender before it was too late. They also received what they described as “poison letters”.

In July the Supreme Court granted the petitions for writ of amparo and writ of habeas data filed by the COURAGE activists.

Banana company interferes in choice of union and stalls collective bargaining 31-10-2015

The Association of Democratic Labour Organisation (ADLO), a federation of the national centre Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), was faced with what it described as a “vilification campaign” against the KMU at the hands of the Japanese banana exporting company Sumifru . The association was formed in October 2014 to represent its workers at the cold storage unit at the AJMR Sumifru Port in Davao City. The campaign against it appeared to be an attempt to still collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
, and included calls to the union’s individual members instructing them to withdraw their support for the union.
Sumifru favoured the “yellow” union, Southern Philippines Federation of Labour (SPFL), but workers turned their back on it and chose to disaffiliate on 6 August. A month later they formally affiliated to ALDO-KMU, from whom they had been seeking advice and support for the last three years.
On 14 September 2015 the union submitted its proposal for a collective agreement to Sumifru. By law the employer is supposed to send a counter-proposal within ten days. Instead it did nothing until 9 October, when it questioned ADLO-KMU’s right to represent the workers in the negotiations.

It was clear management had no intention of bargaining and finally, on 16 October, the workers held a protest picket to demand that the company present its counter proposal and begin negotiations.

The union was also concerned because Sumifru had begun to hire new workers surpassing the operation’s manning requirement. The move suggested a prelude to their replacement at the workplace, bearing in mind Sumifru’s history of rights violations and union busting union busting Attempts by an employer to prevent the establishment of a trade union or remove an existing union, e.g. by firing union members, challenging unions in court, or by forming a yellow union. .

Carlo Olalo, spokesperson of KMU Southern Mindanao, said that Sumifru has a long and notorious history as a union buster and workers’ rights violator. By the end of the month there had still been no progress, leading to further protests.

Mass dismissals in retaliation for workers’ protest at banana company08-06-2015

Japanese-owned banana export company Sumifru dismissed 177 workers at Packing Plant 90 on 8 June 2015, just weeks after they had taken collective action to pressure management into dropping a piece-rate wage scheme. Sumifru unilaterally began implementing the piece-rate payment system on 23 March in its packing plants in Compostela Valley. Banana Industry Growers and Workers Against Sumifru (BIGWAS), a group of banana packing plant unions, was formed in March in protest at the piece-rate payment scheme that slashed workers’ wages by at least 50 per cent.

On 22 April, the workers’ successive mass actions forced the suspension of the piece-rate scheme, and the dispute was resolved through a compromise agreement. This agreement stated, among others, that the piece-rate scheme would be immediately revoked and there would be “no retaliatory actions against parties.”

However, on 1 June, workers arrived to find the packing plant padlocked, due supposedly to a rent dispute with the landowner. Two days later the workers were told to report for work at a nearby mini packing unit pending resolution of the rent issue between. The union believed there was no rent issue, and that it was a lockout lockout A form of industrial action whereby an employer refuses work to its employees or temporarily shuts down operations. in retaliation for the collective action. On 8 June, company guards suddenly turned the workers away at the gate upon management’s orders.

Vicente Barrios, president of Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm – National Federation of Labour Unions – Kilusang Mayo Uno (Namaufa-Naflu-KMU), which represents the rank and file workers of Packing Plant 90, said that Sumifru had tried and failed several times to bust the unions in the banana packing plants in Compostela. In 2012 Sumifru dismissed all workers at two of the packing plants, but had to reinstate them after it failed to prove grounds for dismissal. The union had been struggling for better conditions for the workers for years, and in December 2006 Barrios narrowly escaped an attempt on his life. One of his colleagues, Jerson Lastimoso, died instantly of multiple gunshot wounds. Barrios also reported that the military had been pressuring him to stop his union activities and to dissociate from KMU since 2004.

The workers went on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
on 10 June 2015 to demand that all those who had been dismissed be reinstated. They were joined by colleagues at packing plant 92 who went on a sympathy strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
. An agreement was reached after ten days, agreeing to reinstatement and no retaliation, and the strikers returned to work on 19 June.

Tuna workers still denied justice 23-04-2015

On 22 April 2015, the Mayor’s office in General Santos issued an order for the union representing Citra Mina workers to cease picketing picketing Demonstration or patrolling outside a workplace to publicise the existence of an industrial dispute or a strike, and to persuade other workers not to enter the establishment or discourage consumers from patronising the employer. Secondary picketing involves picketing of a neutral establishment with a view to putting indirect pressure on the target employer. the tuna factory or face forcible removal. The workers had been picketing picketing Demonstration or patrolling outside a workplace to publicise the existence of an industrial dispute or a strike, and to persuade other workers not to enter the establishment or discourage consumers from patronising the employer. Secondary picketing involves picketing of a neutral establishment with a view to putting indirect pressure on the target employer. for over a year in support of 70 employees who were sacked in waves of repression for forming a legally registered union in 2013 and demanding recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. .
Pressure was mounting on Citra Mina. On 23 April the International Union of Food Workers (IUF) and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), assisted by Belgian trade unions, demonstrated at the Brussels Seafood Expo to spotlight Citra Mina’s human rights abuses. The European Union is a prime export market for the company’s tuna.

The company also faced hearings in the Philippines’ House of Representatives, which had already chronicled a systematic pattern of rights abuses by the group’s companies, including serious violations of labour standards and trade union rights, the use of shell companies to evade legal obligations, the slave-like conditions on boats, and deaths on the high seas.

Over the next three days, union members and supporters mobilised continuously to show their support for the striking workers and their struggle. The Mayor’s office then rescinded its order - and apologised for its “error”.

Persistent denial of trade union rights under Aquino government10-04-2015

The Aquino government’s persistent denial of trade union rights led the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) to organise a picket outside the Department of Labour and Employment on 10 April 2015 in protest. Many of the participants had been dismissed for trying to form trade unions and had been involved in several strikes to protest against union busting union busting Attempts by an employer to prevent the establishment of a trade union or remove an existing union, e.g. by firing union members, challenging unions in court, or by forming a yellow union. over the previous two years at Pentagon Steel Corporation (April 2013), Express Coats (March 2014), Janrey (March 2014) Golden Fortune Construction (December 2014), and Long Hong Recycled Plastics (March 2015).

The KMU drew attention to a report by the Centre for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR), published in 2014, which found that thousands of workers continued to experience violations of their right to form trade unions. Even where workers’ succeeded in forming a union, employers regularly refused to negotiate a collective agreement. Organisers are frequently dismissed and blacklisted. Less than ten per cent of employees in the Philippines belong to a trade union, and of these only 12 per cent are covered by a collective agreement.

Dismissed for organising02-05-2015

The Kepco-Salcon Power Corporation, which runs a coal-fired power plant, dismissed two employees, Lowell Sanchez, a safety supervisor and president of Kepco Cebu Supervisors Association, and Nelson Florita, assistant operation division manager, at the end of March 2015 for organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. . Another employee, Alex Poste, president of the Kepco Cebu Employees Association, said the rank-and-file employees also faced unfair labour practices. Some employees had been asked to sign a document promising that they would not join the union.

The two unions – both affiliated with the Workers’ Solidarity Network, the national federation of all power industry unions – filed a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
notice on 8 April. Their principal demands were the reinstatement of their two colleagues and payment of their back wages, an end to unfair labour practices and voluntary recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. by the management of the union to be the official bargaining unit bargaining unit A group of workers within a particular company, establishment, industry or occupation that constitutes an appropriate unit for the purpose of collective bargaining.

See bargaining agent
of the supervisory employees.

During the mediation mediation A process halfway between conciliation and arbitration, in mediation a neutral third party assists the disputing parties in reaching a settlement to an industrial dispute by suggesting possible, non-binding solutions.

See arbitration, conciliation
and conciliation conciliation An attempt by a neutral third party, a conciliator, to aid the settling of an industrial dispute by improving communications, offering advice and interpreting issues to bring the disputing parties to a point where they can reconcile their differences. The conciliator does not take as active a role as a mediator or an arbitrator.

See arbitration, mediation
process that followed, management refused to give in to any of the unions’ demands. Finally, just as the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
was to go ahead, agreement was reached on 2 May. The two dismissed workers were reinstated, but in the case of Lowell Sanchez, it was only an administrative reinstatement. He was put back on the payroll pending an investigation into management accusations that the supervisor had been organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. rank-and-file employees, which was expected to last two months.

Employers fail to comply with CBA01-09-2014

The Technol 8 Philippines Corporation, a car parts manufacturing company inside the Laguna Technopark in Binan, Laguna, has refused to comply with provisions of the CBA. Specifically, the CBA requires the company to make public announcements regarding positions available for promotion, instead looking for external applicants who are not union members.

LBC Davao, a delivery company in Davao City, has breached the CBA with the LBC Davao Employees Union (LBDCDEU-ADLO-KMU), specifically provisions related to benefits and regularisation of employees. The management has also sought to quell the union’s campaign to end the company’s “unfair sanctions policy” by persistently trying to discredit union president Butch Gajudo, against whom it has brought numerous complaints.

“We are also calling on management to respect the law by respecting our union, our leaders, and to stop all acts of harassment against us,” Gajudo said.

Cenapro stops CBA negotiations due to picket, replaces strikers with contractors16-07-2014

Cenapro Chemical Corporation in Cebu, maker of activated carbon used in purifying water, unilaterally stopped CBA negotiations after the workers held a picket last July 16 in protest of the 16-hour workday in the firm.

The company also filed administrative cases against the union leaders following the picket protest. The president and vice-president of the Cenapro Chemicals Employees Association-Alliance of Nationalist and Genuine Labor Organizations, an affiliate of the KMU, were slapped with cases that could result in their dismissal even on first offense.

Elmer ‘Bong’ Labog of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) said: “After imposing slave-like conditions on workers, the Cenapro management is acting like a dictator in punishing workers for holding legitimate protests against such conditions. It not only wants workers to suffer, it wants workers to suffer in silence.”

When the workers then went on strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
to protest Cenapro’s decision to stop CBA negotiations, the company hired contractual workers to replace employees who were striking.

The Centre for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) reported that 4,650 unionists were denied their right to bargain collectively in 2014.

Japanese trade unionist deported while trying...01-02-2015

Japanese trade unionist deported while trying to enter the Philippines

Japanese trade unionist Katshuhiro Sato was stopped at immigration, held and put under deportation proceedings when trying to enter the Philippines in February 2015.

Mr Sato was on the Department of Justice’s Black List black list A list of workers compiled by and circulated among employers identifying union members and activists who are to be boycotted or otherwise penalised. Order due to his participation in international solidary action against policies of the Asian Development Bank in Manila in 2012.

Workers dismissed and harassed for trade union activities01-02-2014

Dismissal: Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) has reported that many workers have been illegally retrenched for trying to form a genuine pro-worker union. Examples include 3,600 workers of Carina Apparel, Inc. who were dismissed in February 2014 and 2,600 workers of Hoya Glass Disk Philippines who were dismissed in April 2014. The Centre for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) reported that a total of 6,382 workers were illegally retrenched in 2014 and 767 were dismissed due to a labour dispute labour dispute See industrial dispute .

Dutch electronics firm NXP Semiconductors sacked 24 leaders of the NXP Semiconductors Company Workers Union (NXPSCIWU) on 5 May 2014 after they failed to report for work on government- declared holidays in April and early May 2014. The dismissed union leaders included all members of the Executive Board and Shop Steward shop steward A union worker who represents the members of a union in dealings with the employer. Often elected by union members who work in the same establishment. Council of the NXPSCIWU, which was in negotiations with the company for a Collective Bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
Agreement at the time. The sacked leaders were immediately blacklisted, barred from entering the company’s premises and blocked from receiving benefits owed to them.

NXP management had also harassed other workers engaged in or trying to engage in collective actions, deploying security guards, ERP personnel and a fire truck to peaceful protests preventing workers from leaving buses to join a protest march.

Seventy-eight fishery and cannery workers at seafood supplier Citra Mina were sacked after they asked for union recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. at the company. A strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
and mediation mediation A process halfway between conciliation and arbitration, in mediation a neutral third party assists the disputing parties in reaching a settlement to an industrial dispute by suggesting possible, non-binding solutions.

See arbitration, conciliation
efforts followed, but they remain barred from their jobs. Before the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
there were around 400 regular employees in the company, while about a thousand were contract workers. As at 2 June 2014, there were only 72 remaining regular workers left at the company.

In December 2014, Congress Representatives from the Akbayan party in the Philippines House of Representatives called on the government to launch a formal investigation into the violation of trade union rights at Citra Mina.

Harassment: The Centre for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) reported that 2,125 workers from across ten factories experienced threats from their employers due to trade union activities in 2014.

Dramatic rise in false criminal charges brought against trade unionists 01-02-2014

The Centre for Trade Union and Human Rights reports the practice of bringing false criminal charges against trade unionists and workers increased by 75 per cent in 2014, from 28 victims in 2013, to 49 in 2014.

Fifteen workers were arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned because of false charges filed against them in 2014.

Benjamen Villeno, Southern Tagalog labour leader, has been missing since September 2013. Randy Vegas and Raul Camposano, organisers of the public sector union centre Confederation for the Unity, Recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage), have been imprisoned since December 2012 due to fake charges over their alleged participation in raids of the New People’s Army.

The military has also subjected labour leaders in southern Mindanao to interrogations and various forms of harassment. This is the subject of a complaint filed by KMU before the International Labour Organisation in February 2014.

One worker murdered and hundreds harassed, threatened and detained 06-03-2015

On 6 March 2015, the Centre for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) reported that at least one worker had been killed in 2014 and hundreds more had been harassed, threatened and detained.

Specifically, the Centre reported that in 2014 there had been:

  1. 1 trade unionist killed;
  2. 2 cases of physical assault, involving 5 victims;
  3. 5 incidents of threat, harassment and intimidation, involving 138 victims;
  4. 2 cases of grave threat to workers, involving 8 victims;
  5. 8 cases of arbitrary arrest or detention, involving 15 victims; and
  6. 10 cases of false criminal charges due to political acts or beliefs or labour disputes, involving 49 victims.

On 8 March 2015, Florencio “Bong” Romano, a long-time union organiser at the RFM firm in Laguna and provincial coordinator of the National Coalition for the Protection of Workers’ Rights in Southern Tagalog, was found dead on a sidewalk of Barangay Soro-soro, Batangas City. The chairman of the national labour centre Kilusang Mayo Uno, Elmer "Bong” Labog, said it was the 18th case of extra-judicial killings in the labour sector since President Noynoy Aquino came into power since 2010.

On 18 March 2014, a leader of the Toyota Moto Philippines Corporate Workers Association, Ed Cubelo, was visited at home by four armed men dressed in civilian clothes. They were asking whether anyone in the house worked for Toyota and behaving in a threatening manner, prompting Mr Cubelo to think they were going to shoot him. He believes that the incident was intended to stop him, TMPCWA and Defend Job Philippines in the continuing campaign for justice for the 237 illegally dismissed workers of Toyota, and to discourage other workers from organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. .

In Davao, union leaders have been charged with trumped-up murder charges such as the Maragusan DOLE Stanfilco union leaders, Artemio Robilla and Danilo Delegencia. The secretary general of KMU Southern Mindanao, Romualdo Basilio, has reported that unionists are also “red-baited and maliciously linked” to the communist movement such as in the case of the RMN Davao Employees Union.

“There is increasing repression of trade unions nationwide, especially of unions who are steadfast in supporting workers and unwilling to bend their principles to submit to fake ‘industrial peace’ where the welfare of capitalists are prioritized over that of the workers,” said Basilio.

Violence against workers09-02-2015

In January 2014, the banana company Sumifru suspended employment contracts of 141 union members. However, the labour arbitration arbitration A means of resolving disputes outside the courts through the involvement of a neutral third party, which can either be a single arbitrator or an arbitration board. In non-binding arbitration, the disputing parties are free to reject the third party’s recommendation, whilst in binding arbitration they are bound by its decision. Compulsory arbitration denotes the process where arbitration is not voluntarily entered into by the parties, but is prescribed by law or decided by the authorities.

See conciliation, mediation
board ordered their reinstatement and the payment of compensation for lost wages. When the company failed to comply with the order, workers conducted a picket in front of the residence of the company owner Jesus Jamero, who responded by shooting on workers with his gun. The union complained to the police, who failed to act on the incident arguing that workers had provoked the violence with their rally.

Imprisonment of union leaders18-01-2013

Two union leaders have been charged with “revolting” against the government and were imprisoned on 29 April 2012. Unions organised a protest on 18 January 2013 to protest against the systematic imprisonment of union leaders.

Interference in collective bargaining16-08-2013

The HSBCEU was banned from entering the HSBC premises when negotiations with respect to a new collective agreement were about to start.

Anti-union discrimination15-01-2013

The President of the Hong Kong-Shanghai Banking Corporation Employees’ Union (HSBCEU), a vocal critic of HSBC’s outsourcing outsourcing See contracting-out programme was dismissed as a result of his criticism of management.

On 15 January 2013, union officials from the PMI Faculty and Employees Union Alberto Porlacin, Joseph Nelson Sarabia, Violeta Dano, Nelson Estano, Victorino Cabalit, and Joel Langcamon were dismissed by PMI- Bohol Colleges. There was no valid justification for dismissal. The termination came after the union engaged in negotiations over issues such as benefits, work schedules, and grievance procedures. PMI Colleges Bohol increased security and threated the leader of the Student Body Council with dismissal should he support the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
which was announced as a result of the dismissals.

Murder of trade unionist18-07-2013

Kagi Alimudin P. Lucman, President of the Notre Dame Village Operators and Drivers Association (NDVODA), which was established in 2009 and affiliated to the NCTU-APL in 2010, was killed on 18 July 2013 by a lone gunman.

Refusal to implement collective agreement30-04-2013
Murder of trade unionist31-07-2013

At about 8:00am on 2 July 2013, Dodong Petalcorin, President of the Davao City-based Network of Transport Organisations (NETO), an affiliate of the National Confederation of Transport Workers’ Union (NCTU) - Alliance of Progressive Labour (APL) was shot three times in the chest by an assassin as he was leaving his home for the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). Two other APL leaders were also murdered earlier this year. Following the May 2013 elections, Romy Almacin, a Municipal Councillor and transport leader was shot to death in broad daylight. His murder is believed to be related to his campaign against graft and corruption and illegal logging in that municipality. Emilio Rivera, former Chairman of an independent transport workers’ organisation, Matina Aplaya Transport Cooperative (MATRANSCO), was murdered on 25 January 2013 near the offices of the LTFRB. It is believed his murder was linked to his campaign to expose corruption at the LTFRB and to oust its director. In neither case has the state arrested or prosecuted those responsible for these crimes.

Widespread anti-union practices remains unpunished31-12-2011

Trade union leaders continued to face harassment, arrest, and the loss of their jobs by the filing of false criminal charges. One of the most common tactics used by private employers and government, alike, was to label union leaders and members as terrorists. Faced with a legal system that offers little assistance or due process, trade unions persisted in their efforts.

In 2009, the ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
Conference Committee on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (ILCCR) examined the Philippines’ violations of Convention No. 87 and “remained concerned at the allegations of a continuing situation of violence against trade unionists and urged the Government once again to ensure that all the necessary measures were taken to restore a climate of complete freedom and security from violence and threats 4 and bring an end to impunity so that workers and employers could fully exercise their freedom of association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
rights”. In September 2009, the ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
conducted a high-level mission, the results of which imply that the government was complicit in violations. The mission’s outcome asked the highest level of the government to make a statement “instructing all government actors to make special efforts to ensure that their actions do not infringe upon the basic civil liberties of trade unionists”.

Reacting to the ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
missions’ findings, the government established the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (NTIPC) on 20 January 2010 as a high-level monitoring body on the application of international labour standards international labour standards Principles and norms related to labour matters, primarily codified in the Conventions and the Recommendations of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Include core labour rights such as freedom of association and the right to organise, the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike, which are all covered by ILO Conventions 87 and 98.

See ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
. However, the NTIPC has been criticised as inadequate because it lacks adequate funding and a dedicated secretariat that is staffed by qualified persons. For instance, the Council only recently started looking into cases of trade union killings, harassments, intimidation, torture and enforced disappearances that took place in 2010.

Terrorist act concern to unionists30-11-2009

The Human Security Act classifies a wide range of crimes as terrorist acts if they are committed to “create a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace, in order to coerce the government to give in to an unlawful demand”. Mandatory sentences are set at 40 years without possibility of parole for terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism, and similarly heavy penalties are created for lesser crimes. There are significant concerns among human rights organisations and trade unionists that the overly broad language in the law leaves it open to abuse by local police and judicial authorities. Arrests without warrants are allowed, and indefinite detention is made possible in instances where authorities find there is an “actual or imminent terrorist attack”.

Flagrant anti-union tactics30-11-2009

Trade union leaders continued to face harassment, arrest, and the loss of their jobs by the filing of false criminal charges. One of the most common tactics used by private employers and government, alike, was to label union leaders and members as terrorists. Faced with a legal system that offers little assistance or due process, trade unions persisted in their efforts.

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