The fight for the reinstatement of the 24 illegally-dismissed NXP union officers, for the immediate resumption of their CBA negotiations and for an end to union-busting is escalating. And the support for their fight continues to gain momentum.
Protest caravan and March-rally against Union-busting
On 16 June, a protest caravan and march-rally from Manila to Laguna was held. At least 20 vehicles and some 50 motorcycles joined the caravan that started from Intramuros, Manila and ended at the NXP plant in Cabuyao, Laguna.
Supporters from various sectors and organizations came, including government employees, migrant workers, transport workers, women and youth. Rep. Emmi de Jesus from the Gabriela Women’s Partylist also joined the caravan. Prior to the caravan, a program was held in front of the Department of Labor and Employment in Manila.
The protest-caravan is undeniably visible. All vehicles were decked with their respective organizational flags and posters calling for the reinstatement of NXP 24. The long queue of vehicles caught the public’s attention as it traversed some 50 kms en route to Laguna via the South Luzon Expressway.
Protesters stopped at Crossing, Calamba for a short program. The area is a busy intersection which is a popular venue for mobilizations in Laguna, Southern Tagalog.
The caravan then went straight to LISP 1. Protesters split into two contingents to occupy Gates 1 and 2. As expected, police and security guards were deployed at the main gates of LISP 1 to block the protesters from entering the industrial enclave. At Gate 1, a big round metal was installed to reinforce the padlocked gates. At Gate 2, a brief altercation ensued when police tried to stop the vehicles and the protesters from entering the enclave.
But all of these were no match to the unbreakable spirit of the NXP workers and their supporters. For the 3rd time, they were able to successfully overcome all these challenges. Again, they marched inside the enclave, unmindful of the rain and the heat that alternately embraced them, and held the protest right in front of the plant.
Incessant Attacks by the Management vis-a-vis Sustained Actions of the Union
As the struggle of NXP workers nears its second month, the management continues its relentless attacks against the workers. Some of the violations committed include the:
Suspension of CBA talks
Escrow of union funds including union dues, union benefits, burial assistance, pabaon, etc
Campaign for individual ratification for a 3.5% wage increase in CBA
Intimidation and harassment including the tailing of union leaders and surveillance of their residences
Filing of charges against five (5) union officers in relation to the protest action last 26 May
But the militant actions of the workers and the outpouring of support both from the local and international community have already forced the NXP management to take notice of the workers’ struggle.
Following the successful protest-caravan, a conciliation meeting at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) was held on 17 June. The company, represented by its lawyers, committed to present an offer at the next conciliation meeting on June 24. Prior to this, the management has also taken back its decision to suspend the CBA talks.
Perhaps it could be seen as a flicker of light inside a tunnel. And we can only attribute this to our sustained militant actions – by the union and the NXP workers and the strong support from the local and international community. But we cannot let our guards down.
While the management wants to project an image that it is opening up, it is also carrying out double-edged actions against the workers. After the conciliation meeting, it issued a memo to all union members and employees with regard to the “Noise Barrage at the Canteen During Break time of Shifting Employees”.
The management gave the workers a “stern warning to cease and desist from this undesirable activity” and threatened that they will “deal with this misbehavior” in accordance with the Employee Code of Conduct on “Undesirable and Disorderly Behavior”. Likewise, the management remains silent on the reinstatement of the 24 union officers. We still have to see a concrete proposal laid out by the management in the negotiating table. We still have to see concrete results from the talks.
Thus, it is important that we remain vigilant and intensify our fight. We will not cease on conducting militant actions to pressure the management to listen to our just demands.
We continue to call on all supporters of NXP workers to sustain and increase the momentum of your solidarity and support to our struggle. Definitely, our strong pressure has already caught the attention of the management. But we still need to do more.
We are confident we can still deliver more so that the NXP management will not only sit down but will comply with our just demands. The management must learn an important lesson in respecting the rights of its workers.
Please support the July 2 Global Day of Action for NXP workers. You can do various forms of actions such as:
Hold solidarity actions
Take a selfie and groupie photo in support of NXP workers fight and post them in social media sites using hashtag #bringbacknxp24. Like the page
BringbackNXP24 on Facebook.
Sign the petition at LabourStart
Other actions are encouraged