Layoff of 44 flat glass workers hit

by KMU Staff

National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemns the retrenchment of 44 workers in a Japanese-owned flat glass factory in Pasig City, claiming AGC Flat Glass Philippines is trying to bust the workers’ union which is fighting for the regularization of contractuals.

The labor group 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.

“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. While the total workforce remains the same, the number of regulars has shrunk to a mere 150 at present.

“The fight against contractualization is a fight of all workers and all Filipinos. Contractualization is a whole-scale violation of workers’ rights that should be banned entirely,” said Adonis.

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.

The AGC Flat Glass Philippines management claims that the layoffs is a result of the closure of its Solar Panel Department but workers demand that the department’s workers be absorbed in other departments.