News Southern Tagalog

Imasen Biñan workers face illegal mass lay-off amid pandemic

Affected workers reportedly did not receive aid or relief from the company during the lockdown.

Amidst the pandemic and ongoing economic recession in the country, almost 50 workers of Imasen Philippines Manufacturing Corporation lost their primary livelihood, as the Japanese-owned car parts company forced their workers to quit their jobs.

According to Desiderio Malabag, President of the Tunay na Lakas ng mga Manggagawa ng Imasen (TLMI), the company convened a workers’ meeting to issue a memorandum notifying their employees that they will be terminated due to ‘redundancy.’ Police and company guards were present at the said meeting to intimidate the workers.

“Pagdating nila doon ay may mga nakapwesto ng guardya at pulis, at kasabay ang pagbibigay ng memo na huling araw ng mga manggagawa sa pagawaan. Dahil sa takot na magkaroon ng kumusyon ay pikitmata na tinanggap ng mga naunang 26 na manggagawa ang desisyon ng imasen dahil narin sa mga nakapalibot sa kanilang mga guardya at pulis,” Malabag said.

He also added that the workers received no relief or benefits from the company during the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon.

Imasen as union-buster

The president mentioned that nine out of the 26 terminated were union leaders, while in the process of negotiations with the company under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to raise the wage and benefits of the workers.

Imasen has been reportedly union-busting since the worker’s successfully established one in the company. Labor groups in Southern Tagalog staged a protest last February to condemn the acts of the company to dismantle the union.

“Sa kabila ng pagsisikap ng mga manggagawa na unawain ang sitwasyon ng lahat ng naapektuhan ng pandemya ay ito naman ang isusukli ng kumpanya na ang nais lamang ay buwagin ang naitayong unyon ng mga manggagawa,” he said.

Criticizing the company’s opportunism

Moreover, the union president lambasted the illegal termination of workers, as it took advantage of the ongoing national public health emergency to bust the union.

“Mariing kinukondena ng mga manggagawa ang sapilitan at iligal na pagtatanggal sa mga manggagawa, ito ay malinaw na nais ng kapitalista na buwagin ang naitayong unyon ng mga manggagawa, sa kabila ng umiiral na pandemya. Subalit sa kalakhan ng tubo ng kapitalista ay pilit parin tinanggal ang mga opisyales at mgayembro na aktibo sa unyon,” he stated.

He also explained that the said termination of employees will have a lasting impact on the lives of the worker’s family.

“Ang sapilitang pagtatanggal sa mga manggagawa ay ang pagpatay sa kanilang kabuhayan at pamilya, pagpatay sa pangarap at edukasyon ng mga batang sa kanilay umaasa. Pagpatay sa pag-asang makakabangon pa sila sa umiiral na pandemya,” the president said.

Regarding the next action of the union against the company, Malabag said that they will file charges on the National Conciliation And Mediation Board (NCMB) regarding the illegal termination of workers. [P]

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