[CHRP-UK] FW: URGENT APPEAL: Workers (especially women) dismissed from work and evicted from their homes after forming a union

Wed 11/10, 21:3 
From: Defend Job
Subject: URGENT APPEAL: Workers (especially women) dismissed from work and evicted from their homes after forming a union
Dear friends and colleagues:
Greetings of solidarity. We wrote and attached below an appeal letter asking for our solidarity and actions.
Thank you.

Workers (especially women) dismissed from work and evicted from their homes after forming a union
An urgent appeal for Ming John Plastic Ware Workers
Defend Job Philippines and Samahan ng Manggagawang Kaagapay sa Pag-unlad call for support and solidarity
amidst threats and harassment to union members and officers of MingJohn Plastic Ware Company.
We are saddened that from October 2 up to present, union members and officers are unjustly and illegally evicted from their rented barracks.  12 families including the 4 women union officetrs and their children are left homeless as their dwellings were destroyed by demolition personnel of MingJohn Plastic Ware Company. The home of the union president (also a woman) is next to be evicted and demolished. These incidents are not only violations of workers’ rights but a clear violence against women and children.
From July to September 2017, 8 workers were illegally dismissed for various unjust and unfounded reasons. Alex Lazaga was dismissed for drinking water, Clarissa Guntang was forced by the supervisor to resign because she is pregnant, Miziel Bustillos (union secretary), Josephine Guntang (President), Federico Guntang (Sgt. At Arms) and Oscar (member) were dismissed because the company knew their organizing activities and the latest dismissal of Jervie Manlapaz and Ricardo Ortega (membership and grievance committee heads) is because they express their views during a meeting called by the manpower agency.
In January 2017, the workers learned from the company owner that the factory will close and will transfer to the province of Bulacan next year (2018).  The workers were alarmed because the company did not assure them of their just compensation.   This is the main reason why the workers started to organize themselves and conducted mass meetings and consultations and labor education campaigns in the ranks of their fellow workers.  Members of the union are machine operators, mixers, crushers, machine maintenance, drivers, pahenante, repackers and utility personnel in the plastic ware factory. They stand united for just wage, job security, 8 hour work and for union rights.
Knowing their rights as workers, their determination to fight becomes stronger. Aside from the impending closure of the factory, the workers have long been enduring slave like condition. The normal working hours is 12 hours a day without overtime pay, their wages range from P350-400 a day which is lower than the minimum wage in National Capital Region, no pay for rest day and holidays, no SSS, Philhealth and Pag-ibig fund contribution from their employer and various incidents of work related accidents. Women workers are also forced to do domestic work in their employer’s house like baby sitting, cleaning, doing laundry and cooking.
Under the Golden Stone manpower agency-a labor only contractor, workers are also treated like slaves. Workers have neither the right to ask questions about their wages and salary deductions nor allowed to complaint about their bad working condition. The manpower agency forced them to sign payroll stating that they are paid with minimum wage and also blank resignation papers and memorandum of suspension.  Women factory workers are also forced to work as domestic workers doing laundry, cleaning, baby sitting and cooking in their employers’ house. In addition, the golden Stone agency often claim that the workers are morons and that they have connection at the Department of Labor and Employment.
Under the Duterte administration, these kinds of violations to workers’ rights are still rampant especially in the area of Valenzuela City.  The labor inspection (compliance visit and joint assessment) conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment in the factories did not improve the condition of workers but rather put workers’ jobs in jeopardy. Labor only contracting activities are also widespread all over the city victimizing thousands of workers.  
Workers have no other defense but to organize and to collectively demand for better working condition. Nevertheless, thanks to the power of collective and painstaking struggle, the workers in MingJohn factory succeed in forming their union inside the factory. They are also supported by workers from other factories.  Right now, their petition for certification election (to determine that their union is the sole and exclusive bargaining agent) is being heard by the Mediation Arbiter of the Department of Labor and Employment.
Thus, we urge the Department of Labor and Employment and the Philippine Government to:
1.      Take concrete action to reinstate all illegally dismissed MingJohn Plastic Ware Workers and safeguard workers’ right to form union and to collectively bargain.
2.      Take action to stop the eviction of workers from their rented barracks and provide immediate and concrete assistance for those who lost their homes.
3.      Take action to give remedy especially to women workers and their children affected by the eviction and harassment.
4.      Take action to abolish and penalize the illegal agency inside the Ming John factory.
5.      Take action that the salary differential, unpaid rest day, holiday and overtime pay and social benefits shall be paid to all workers of Ming John.
6.      Take action to ensure the orderly conduct of Petition of Certification Election
7.      Take action to strictly implement all labor standards such as 8 hour work.
8.      Ensure effective labor inspection towards compliance of labor rights and standards.
9.      Implement the national minimum wage and abolish all forms of contractualization.
Please consider supporting this petition by sending this appeal letter to the Philippine Government and their specific agencies.
Office of the President
Telephone: (632) 736-8645
E-mail: pcc@malacanang.gov.ph
Silvestre H. Bello
Department of Labor and Employment Secretary (DOLE)
Telephone: (632) 526-6976
Email:secshb3@dole.gov.ph, osec@dole.gov.ph
Joel B. Maglunsod
DOLE Undersecretary, Labor Relations and Special Concerns
Telephone: (632) 527-3000 loc. 708, 718
Email: useclr@dole.gov.ph
CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) Field Office
Telephone: (632) 3623187
Valenzuela Workers’ Affairs Office
Telephone: (632) 352-3000
Email: waovalenzuela@gmail.com
Commission on Human Rights
Telephone: (632) 928-5655; 926-6188; 929-0102 TF
Email: chairgascon.chr@gmail.com
Philippine Commission for Women
Dr. Rhodora M. Bucoy
Telephone: (632) 736-7712; 735-1864
E-mail: board@pcw.gov.ph, chairperson@pcw.gov.ph and edo@pcw.gov.ph
Office Address: 3127B, Molave St., Manuguit, Tondo, Manila
Office Phone:632 7480241
Website:www.defendjobphilippines.wordpress.com www.demolitionwatch.wordpress.com 
Executive Director
Melona Repunte Daclan
Mobile: +639289069223 Mobile 2: 09451202343

Email: melona.defendjob@gmail.com
Defend Job Philippines is a member of International Network for Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR Network)