Australian activists have united with Melbourne’s Filipino community as part of a global day of solidarity called by the KMU for 24 union delegates in the Philippines sacked for legitimately representing workers at multinational NXP.
SIGTUR metals and maritime unionists loudly demonstrated outside the NXP Australian offices in the suburb of Caulfield, spreading protest over the illegal dismissal of rank-and-file delegates in the Philippines’ NXP electronic parts plant and intimidation of 1500 unionists.
Their delegates were sacked for daring to ask for a 10 per cent pay rise and permanency for many workers kept on contract and “precarious” day-to-day work for years, which has helped the electronics company make record profits.
Security guards have been stationed on the production floor and the number of contract workers on standby tripled from 600 to about 1800 in a menacing warning not to try any industrial action to support their comrades.
AMWU Assistant National Secretary and SIGTUR network coordinator Glenn Thompson said the members of the NXP company union earned an average of $Aust. 17 for a working day which in many cases stretched beyond 10 hours.
Union leader were terminated for taking a holiday which is legal under Philippine law. “This intimidation is illegal under Filipino law, it is not acceptable practice in Australia or in NXP’s originating country – the Netherlands,” he said.
“We are sending a strong signal to our manufacturing comrades at NXP in the Philippines that they can rely on us for support so their plight is known worldwide.”
Australia-Asia Worker Links (AAWL) supported the rally, along with Migrante and members of Melbourne’s Filipino community.
Glenn Thompson and AMWU National President Andrew Dettmer presented an official letter of protest at the Australian office front desk, to be passed to NXP management.
Andrew Dettmer said the NXP Philippines factory was in a special industrial zone, with union officials blocked from entering the area and workers contained inside by a heavy security presence.
The NXP company union is affiliated with the AMWU’s sister union in the Philippines, the Metal Workers’ Alliance of the Philippines.
“NXP operates in 25 countries, so the rest of the world won’t stand by and allow this horrific treatment to go unchallenged,” Andrew Dettmer said.
“We want immediate reinstatement of these workers and a fair process for the workforce to be able to seek just wage increases.”