For years contractual workers at the Holcim Davao factory in the Philippines have been a cheap option for management to avoid paying workers the benefit of the collective agreement. They often had to work 16 to 18 hour shifts just to survive, and, live in squalid conditions. With the help of DAHEWU-SENTRO union, they have been demanding regular employment in line with Philippine law.
Last year they filed a complaint with the Department of Labor and Employment, arguing that they were being illegally denied regular employment. However, in March of this year 141 contract workers were laid off, while non-union workers were offered new employment contracts. Since then 80 workers have been picketing the factory, demanding direct employment by Holcim on the terms of the collective agreement and compensation.
In May 2019 they found out the owner of the plant---multinational cement giant LafargeHolcim---is planning to sell the factory to notoriously anti-union Filipino conglomerate San Miguel. On May Day the workers' picket line was violently attacked by thugs. The union is convinced that Holcim is responsible for the attack.
“It is a failure of justice that these contractual workers, many of whom have worked in the Holcim factory for several years now, have no security of tenure in the Philippines,” said BWI Regional Representative Apolinar Tolentino. “This is a clear example of union-busting. It is the responsibility of LafargeHolcim to take action and protect these contract workers’ rights, particularly in light of the proposed sale of its Philippine operations.”
Contractual workers do not enjoy the right to bargain collectively alongside regular workers, and do not receive many other benefits such as annual leave and social security, not even basic health and safety provisions are given to them.
TAKE ACTION NOW
Click the link to sign the petition and tell LafargeHolcim to end the standoff, rehire the terminated contract workers as regular workers on the collective agreement and pay due compensation:
LabourStart: Holcim workers demand justice