DAVAO CITY – Forty-four workers in the Japanese-owned flat glass factory in Pasig, AGC Flat Glass Philippines were reportedly retrenched today.
Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno said that the company has already retrenched 37 workers before the start of negotiations for a Collective Bargaining Agreement in March 2015 and has refused to respond to the union’s proposals for the regularization of contractuals and for higher wages and benefits.
KMU also condemned the retrenchment of the workers saying the company “is trying to bust the workers’ union which is fighting for the regularization of contractuals.”
The AGC Flat Glass Philippines management said the layoffs is a result of the closure of its Solar Panel Department, but the workers demand that the department’s workers be absorbed in other departments.
“We condemn AGC Flat Glass Philippines for committing a wholesale violation of workers’ rights. It has been illegally dismissing workers, trying to bust the workers’ union, refusing to actually bargain with workers, and preventing contractuals from being regularized,” said Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary-general.
The labor leader said AGC Flat Glass Philippines, which makes flat glass for homes and companies as well as solar panels, has also retrenched hundreds of long-standing contractuals after the start of negotiations for a CBA in order to thwart the unions’ drive to make them regulars.
“AGC Flat Glass Philippines has gotten away with long-term contractualization for decades. It wants to continue amassing huge profits at the expense of workers despite protests from workers and their supporters,” Adonis added.
When AGC Flat Glass Philippines started in the Philippines in 1985 with the name Asahi Flat Glass Philippines, all of its close to 1,000 workers were regulars and unionized. Adonis said while the total workforce remains the same, the number of regulars has shrunk to a mere 150 at present.
KMU has been calling for the banning of contractualization, including the scrapping of Department of Labor and Employment Order No. 18-A Series of 2011, of the Herrera Law, and the Labor Code of 1974. (davaotoday.com)