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Union leaders shave heads vs. illegal dismissal

At a picket in front of the Labor Department’s main office in Intramuros, Manila this morning, leaders of the workers’ union in NXP Semiconductors Cabuyao Incorporated had their heads shaved to protest their illegal dismissal. 
The 24 leaders of the NXPSCI Workers’ Union claimed that the company has no right to dismiss them from work since their members cannot be accused of launching illegal strikes on April 9, 17 and 18 and on Labor Day since these dates are regular holidays according to the Labor Department.
“The Labor Department promised to punish employers who will not observe the country’s laws governing holidays. Why is it that we workers are the ones being punished by the NXPSCI management for being with our families on the said holidays?” asked Reden Alcantara, president of the NXPSCIWU.
NXP union call support
He also commented on the NXPSCI’s argument, contained in an open letter posted at the company’s newly-created website (, that it was perfectly legal for the company to make the workers go to work on holidays as long as the workers receive double their regular pay for working on the said dates. 
“While it may be legal for the company to make workers go to work on holidays provided that their pay is doubled, it has no right to accuse union leaders of illegal strike on the basis of the number of those who did not go to work. Besides, the company has not filed any such case against workers in the past, proof that its motives for making this accusation are malicious,” Alcantara said.
National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno, to which NXPSCIWU-National Federation of Labor Unions is affiliated, meanwhile claimed that the illegal dismissal stems from the management’s refusal to heed workers’ demands in ongoing negotiations for a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“The truth is that the NXP union leaders were removed from work because the company wants to weaken workers’ demand for a significant wage hike and the regularization of contractuals. It has been an age-old tactic of capitalists to fire workers to prevent them from fighting for their rights,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
Workers of NXPSCI -- one of the biggest electronics companies in the Philippines and a supplier of well-known brands Apple, ASUS and Nokia -- are calling for a P60 wage hike which the management has met with a proposal for a mere P20 wage hike and for the regularization of the hundreds of contractuals employed by the company.
“The struggle of the workers of NXP is a struggle of the Filipino workers and people. The NXPSCIWU is one of the very few unions inside the country’s special economic zones which have large concentration of workers whose attempts to form unions are being met with repression by capitalists and the government,” Labog said.