Global campaign defeats union-busting attack at NXP
29 September 2014
International trade union solidarity flexed its muscles over the last
five months in defence of NXP workers under attack in the Philippines.
The campaign succeeded in overturning this company’s union-busting
attack. A new labour agreement with major gains was signed on 26 September.
Twelve dismissed members of the union’s executive will return to work,
the other twelve will receive decent separation packages and become full
time trade union activists, wage hikes of 12.25% over three years will
be much higher than what the company previously said was possible, and a
significant number of contractual workers will be regularized. But most
important for the NXP workers, the company’s brutal attempt to bust the
union was defeated.
See the official MWAP statement here –
Dutch multinational NXP Semiconductors sacked all 24 elected union
officials at its plant in a special economic zone in Cabuyao on 5 May
for taking time off on national holidays.
A number of security measures meant to intimidate workers were taken.
The zone was flooded with police, shuttle buses for the workers were
heavily guarded, checkpoints were put up and goons wearing civilian
clothes patrolled the plant.
“It appeared that NXP and the government were colluding to destroy one
of the only unions present in the special economic zone,” said
IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina. “IndustriALL worked closely
with MWAP and allies to mount a powerful campaign.”
An impressive local campaign by MWAP was supported internationally.
Actions included large pickets outside of negotiations venues, and the
NXP facility, national mobilizations, national support from all 15
IndustriALL affiliates in the Philippines, corporate customer action
especially focussed on Apple who received over 150,000 petitions and
14,000 official complaints through SumOfUs, a wide-reaching social media
campaign flagging the labour rights flaw in the new iPhone 6, outreach
and collaboration with the business and human rights community spread
the news and built support for MWAP, and a LabourStart campaign targeted
More support came from international partners in the form of
demonstrations at Apple Stores by United Students Against Sweatshops
(USAS) in Los Angeles and Chicago, with participation from USW activists
and leaders. Further demonstrations were planned had settlement not been
IndustriALL outreached to unions representing NXP workers in other
countries to build support for MWAP. It also worked with unions at many
of NXP’s top customers to pressure these customers to demand that NXP
end its attack on MWAP.
A number of IndustriALL affiliates including AMWU, IF Metall, IG Metall,
Metalliliitto, Unite and USW provided critical support in the campaign.
IndustriALL’s sister global union UNI also provided critical support.
“We believe that we have waged a strong battle resulting in a major
victory,” said Reden Alcantara, MWAP National President and one of the
12 union leaders who will not return to work for NXP. “We encountered
many difficulties in this long and painstaking struggle but we never
stopped searching for solutions. We have come this far because of the
unity of our members and the all-out support of our global union
IndustriALL and of our other supporters and friends from the local and
Andy Whitmore (Whit)
Indigenous Peoples Links (PIPLinks)
Finspace, 225-229 Seven Sisters Road, London, N4 2DA
Ph: +44 (0)775 439 5597
“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” – Bertrand Russell