Lets hope this doesn't turn into another slave revolt?
Filipino workers at Formosa Plastics Corporation
on strike again.
July 4, 2006
Twenty-eight Filipino workers from Chan-Sai, a subcontractor of FPC in Mailiao, Yun Lin County have decided to strike today. They are protesting against their daily breakfast of only bread which they have been eating for the last six months. There is also a problem with their tax but initial reports from the job site are not yet clear.
The workers have repeatedly raised these grievances to their management to no avail. There are also reports of pending disputes between the workers and other subcontractors like Samsung, Tai-Shang and Futong. The FPC management and the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) should intervene in these disputes directly lest labor unrest again erupts in their refinery. They should not underestimate the strength and determination of the workers as the latter have organized three major strikes in less than a year.
At Samsung, 30 out of 100 workers were not paid the promised NT$8,500 for not taking their vacation this year. There are also reports that the company would terminate the services of 20% of their migrant worker labor force by August this year. The company is saying that there is a surplus of labor even if the contracts of the workers under FPC are good for two years. This clearly breaches the contract of the workers as they have only worked for less than one
and a half years.
At the Tai-Shang subcontractor, the company deducted 2 days pay of the salary of three workers last April, contridicting company representatives that stated they would be paid. Even though they were told that they would not need to work because of bad weather.
At the same time, four workers from the Futong subcontractor were deducted NT$500 each for board and lodging fees last month. Their board and lodging fee is free as long as they work for two Saturdays a month. But last May they refused to work overtime on Sundays which is their day off and their pay was deducted in breech of agreement.
In addition to this, three workers namely Edmundo Poras PU-3, Leo Degario Salonga PU-6 and Mario Alferes DP-25 had to pay illegal brokerage fees when they were sick. There is an internal agreement in the company that even if no medical certificates are issued, the workers would not be declared absent from work. Another problem with FPC is that if the company will only take workers to the clinic in the evening claiming that they lack vehicles to transport sick or injured workers.
The demands of the workers in the Chan Sai factory should be granted and no retaliatory action be taken against them by the company. The Chan Sai factory should be investigated for refusing to adhere to the requests of the workers.
Formosa Plastics Corporation and the Taiwan Council of Labour Affairs should also look into and act in favor of the other complaints of the workers in the other subcontractors. Finally, the conditions of the workers should all be the same in the different companies, which FPC has subcontracted the workers to. At the moment, the conditions of the workers are much better in the Samsung factory where the workers are not made to pay for their board and lodging.
> Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants