Last May 5, 24 union leaders were fired by NXP Semiconductors Inc. The company’s defense: illegal strike – many workers did not report for work on April 9, 17, 19 and May 1.
That is just an excuse. Those dates are regular holidays: It was Day of Valor on the 9th of April, while the 17th and 19th of April were Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday (part of Lent which is observed by Catholics), respectively, and Labor Day is celebrated every 1st of May. Even in accordance with the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement or CBA, the company acknowledges the workers’ right to participate in May 1 activities.
What is the real reason? There was an ongoing negotiation between the union and NXP’s management for a CBA. The union demands a significant wage hike for workers – an 8% increase, while the management wants only a 3.5% raise. The union also insists that contractual employees be regularized, to which the company disagrees.
The demands made by the NXP workers and their union are valid and reasonable. They are merely upholding workers’ rights. The NXP’s management, which is now owned by American capitalists, is clearly anti-worker.
The fight of the NXP workers is a fight of all workers, of everyone. All of us need a wage increase that’s significant, not just morsels of alms. All of us deserve employment that’s regular, not just contractual. Many have already been dismissed from their jobs just because they asserted what’s due to them.
The union of the workers of NXP is one of the few unions in the country’s special economic zones. Capitalists and the Aquino government really want to suppress and bust it. The government has been deploying thousands of police forces to suppress the NXP workers’ protests. If capitalists and the government succeed, they will further oppress and exploit the numerous workers at the enclaves.
Let us support the NXP workers’ fight. Let us spread the word about their plight and struggle, our struggle, to everyone. Let us condemn the capitalists of NXP together with its ally, the government of Noynoy Aquino.
Philippine President Aquino is anti-worker and is a puppet of big capitalists!