Twenty-four of their leaders were dismissed and their union is under siege. Locked out and left out a month after their leaders’ unjust dismissal, hundreds of protesting workers forced their way through the industry park’s gates. Chanting “Manggagawang tinanggal, ibalik! Ibalik!” (Dismissed workers, reinstate! Reinstate!), the protesters, ushered in by dozens of fellow workers in motorcycles, marched a few kilometers toward the NXP plant. In an admirable show of workers’ strength, and with cops and security personnel watching, the NXP workers called on the management, especially its general manager, Jose Miguel Orleans, to resume the talks for a collective bargaining agreement and end attacks on the workers’ right to a union.
NXP Semiconductors, formerly Philips Semiconductors, is an electronics company that provides semiconductors to companies such as Apple, among others.
Here are some of the photos of the protest action:
Workers from NXP Semiconductors, as well as from other unions, labor federations and advocates, gather in front of the locked gates of Light Industry and Science Park (LISP) in Cabuyao, Laguna to protest the dismissal of the 24 NXP union leaders, and call for resumption of CBA talks. KR Guda
Cops quickly line up in front of the locked gates to “maintain peace and order”, but really, to protect private property and the business interests in LISP. KR Guda
Flags of the countries of corporations with plants in LISP wave side by side with the Philippine flag. LISP is a 173-hectare private “special economic zone” where multinational companies enjoy “fiscal incentives” such as tax discounts and holidays, as well as other perks from government. Meanwhile, these companies, with complicity of government agencies, press down wages and employ many, if not mostly, contractual workers. KR Guda
The protesting workers break through the locked gates and march to the NXP plant. KR Guda
NXP management contracted security personnel to man the barbed wire fences set up only recently. KR Guda
The NXP union president, Reden Alcantara, speaks in front of the plant to once again call for the reinstatement of the 24 workers. Alcantara is one of the 24 dismissed union leaders. Labor rights advocates like the Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Reform and the Kilusang Mayo Uno denounced the dismissals as part of management efforts to crack down on the union. KR Guda
The management claims that the 24 union leaders skipped work on April 9, as well as April 17th and 19th, and planned to set up a strike. But the workers answered that the said dates were, in fact, legal holidays, that they have option to not work. April 9 is Araw ng Kagitingan (Valor Day), with April 17 and 19 are Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday, respectively. KR Guda
The protesting unionized workers, a majority of whom are women, demand a an 8% wage hike increase. The union leaders argue that the said hike can easily be given by the management after the workers helped reach record profits for the company. The management, headed by its general manager Jose Miguel Orleans, however, are willing to give only 3.5% raise. KR Guda
Jerome Adonis, a labor leader from the Kilusang Mayo Uno, declares the labor center’s all out support for the NXP workers’ fight. KR Guda
The protesting workers call out two NXP executives, human resources head Monina Lasala and general manager Jose Miguel Orleans, who they said were among the most responsible for union-busting attempts in NXP Cabuyao. KR Guda
Kenneth Roland A. Guda
Kenneth Roland A. Guda is former editor-in-chief of Pinoy Weekly and a board member of PinoyMedia Center, Inc.