We believe you know much
about the dismissal of four TMPCWA members on August 2, 2010. This
edition intends to provide you with a detailed explanation of what
actually happened on June 5, for which they were dismissed, and what
made them sack the members without any hesitation who tried to
defend the worker’s rights, including Vice-president Wenecito (Wenny),
a top leader of the members in the plant. TMPCWA is sure to survive
such an attack made by the company. We do hope you will join us as
ever in protecting the human rights of workers and international
labor standards which have been infringed by Toyota Corporation, a
Protest Toyota Campaign
regarding June 5, 2010
At 8:45 PM on June 5, at
the beginning of the fifteen minute break, three members of the
TMPCWA Grievance Committee made their way with a tense look towards
the Final Assembly Line. The three were Vice-president Wenecito (Wenny)
, Board member Ariel and Ricky.
On May 22 and May 27,
Pablo, a TMPCWA member refused to work overtime, for which he was
expelled from his workplace by his direct supervisor, Santilles,
Junior group supervisor. While forcing him to remain in the Kaizen
room near the Final Assembly Line, work was being withheld from
Pablo. Since the transfer order came without notice, Pablo appealed
to Javier who was the foreman, and made various other efforts to
return to his position on the assembly line, which was ignored.
Finally he got in touch with the Grievance Committee for support.
The fact that Pablo’s bosses, counterparts, were loyal to the
company put them in a tenser atmosphere.
The Grievance Committee
was organized to solve union members’ problems at the workplace and
has been active since the founding of TMPCWA. The company still
refuses to recognize TMPCWA as a union and does not answer letters
from the Grievance Committee, as part of its strategy to ignore the
presence of the TMPCWA altogether. In spite of this, the Grievance
Committee has persisted in its efforts, acting out of concern for
the human rights of its members. For example, the Grievance
committee speaks with supervisors during fifteen minute breaks and
meal breaks, and by now this has become a familiar sight for the
workers at Toyota Motors Philippines.
On this day the
Grievance Committee was determined to locate and confront Pablo's
supervisors, outside of break time if necessary. Although the
Grievance Committee tried to seek out Pablo’s supervisors on three
previous occasions, during each of the fifteen minute breaks and
meal times on May 31, June 2 and 3, they could not be found anywhere
on the site, as if they had gone into hiding. The three members of
the Grievance Committee each shared a concern for Pablo, who had
been left in the Kaizen Room since May 28, possibly to be
transferred to work offline such as cleaning. For this day each
sought permission from their respective supervisors on June 4,
explaining that they might report to work later than usual because
of their duties towards the Grievance Committee. Ricky’s supervisor
gave permission, while Vice-President Wenny and Ariel did not
receive permission. They decided to go ahead as part of their legal
rights as a Grievance Committee, out of concern for their fellow
union member Pablo.
It was at 8:55 PM that
the three members of the Grievance Committee found junior group
supervisor Carpio, and Senior group supervisor Echano at the final
assembly line. Vice-president Wenny became immediately suspicious of
the fact that supervisors were present that day, but went on to
speak of Pablo's case and demanded that he be allowed to return to
his workplace. When break ended at 9:00PM the assembly line went
into motion. At 9:10 PM supervisor Santilles showed up and suddenly,
began taking pictures of the area where the talks were being held.
The members of the Grievance Committee were completely caught by
surprise. During three days of searching the supervisor had not
appeared before them, but as soon as talks began he began to
photograph the Grievance Committee members. The maliciousness of
their intentions angered Vice-president Wenny. He raised his voice
in protest: “ This is illegal, you can not photograph us this way”
Belen, whose task was to
bring parts to the assembly lines, saw that the Grievance Committee
was speaking very loudly with the supervisors, and out of concern
for what was happening walked towards the site. Belen then noticed
Santilles taking pictures and moved to stop him from taking further
pictures. Santilles responded by viciously pointing his finger at
Belen saying that “you are like a hungry dead man.” Belen’s anger
was aggravated by this remark.
It was then that Echano
told Carpio to go and press the emergency stop button to stop the
line. “I am the senior group supervisor and I will put a stop to the
production line whenever I want to”. His words that followed
resonated loudly throughout. At 9:16 PM the final assembly line came
to a halt.
What was happening? All
of the workers present directed their attention towards the final
assembly line. TMPCWA member Pantino was passing the area by chance
and seeing that the Grievance Committee was holding talks approached
the site. Pantino, who had previously lost a part of his third
finger in a workplace accident, was not attached to a particular
assembly line, but was roaming around as floating team-member. It
was also a part of his duties to carry a camera with him and report
workplace accidents should they occur. Union member Cruzado, who was
attached to the welding section reported to his supervisor to leave
his position temporarily. As he followed the situation from a
distance, he suddenly found Carpio photograph him. Magdaong, who was
a substitute person on the final assembly line of INNOVA also
approached the scene after the line came to a stop to be
photographed by Carpio.
Since the location of
this incident was close to the passage leading to the canteen and
the clinic, two other TMPCWA members passing by also were present
and became involved. Roderick Vidal who worked fixed shifts at the
chassy line of welding section was doing overtime and about to stop
by the canteen for a meal. Upon passing by the site he noticed that
the line had been stopped and approached the site to find out what
was happening. Tanael had filed for sick leave at the clinic and on
his way back to the workplace noticed the assembly line. As he stood
for a moment and looked towards the assembly line, he saw Carpio
taking pictures of himself and questioned Carpio as to why he was
supervisors were taking pictures and they stopped the line in spite
of the fact that the production facilities were running without
problems. Workers who did not understand the situation were quickly
gathering on the spot. The Grievance Committee members began to
realize that they may have fallen into a trap, and decided to abort
the talks. At 9:34, eighteen minutes after the stoppage, the
assembly line resumed activities.
From June 5, the company
outwardly maintained silence. On June 7, TMPCWA demanded
negotiations with President Sugata and Vice president for industrial
relations Joseph Sobrevega but did not receive a reply. All during
this time, the company was secretly collecting information and
consulting lawyers. For the company this was a perfect opportunity
to fire Vice President Wenny who was a leading organizer and chiefly
responsible for the activities of TMPCWA within the Toyota plant.
company fabricated the story
Their attack was sudden.
A show-Cause Notice with notice of preventive suspension was issued
to the nine TMPCWA members 20 minutes before work was over on
Friday, June 25. The company depicted the incident in the notice as
With the other 8
members, Wenny was involve in an incident at the Final Assembly Line
which disrupted the production operations. Wenny allegedly incited
Team Member Pablo to abandon his work station at Kaizen Office and
to work in the line instead. As a result, the line stopped for 18
minutes from 21:16 to 21:34, forcing other lines to stop
successively. This made it impossible for the shift to line out 2
vehicles. In addition, the notice said that the nine members had
infringed upon Article 282 of the Labor Code and Company’s Code of
Conduct, suggesting the company might take disciplinary action
against them, including dismissal. If the members have any
objection, submit an explanation of the incident according to Due
Process Form within 5 days. It also stated that the nine members be
reported for hearing on July 6, and ordered them not to come to work
(preventive suspension) till the matter came to the conclusion.
We are left speechless
by the company's description of the incident. We can indicate that
there are numerous inconsistencies to be pointed out. For instance,
suspension is issued in order to prevent what would otherwise pose a
serious threat to life or property. For this reason a suspension
order is normally issued directly after a given incident. The notice
was issued, however, 20 days after the incident, and these nine
TMPCWA members could not have possibly posed a threat to other
workers present nor were in a position to cause damage to the
production line. It is obvious that the notice is against reason. In
action of Grievance
sanctioned under Article 255 of the Labor Code which emphasizes the
participation of the workers or their union to policy and decision
making processes. Therefore, the four members of TMPCWA act of
seeking audience for grievance cannot by any stretch of imagination,
be equated to serious offense because the intent was lawful,
especially where the occurrence took place before the start of the
The hearings before the
Investigation Committee were scheduled for July 6. Meanwhile the
nine suspended workers had no choice but to submit due process
forms. The members of the Investigation Committee consisting of Vice
president for Manufacturing Alden Sapit, Manager of Human Resources
Sobrevega, the Chair of the Labor Management Council Erwin Viduya
and a secretarial worker Raquel Lopez. All four members of the
Investigation Committee represented the company. TMPCWA protested
that the workers were not being fairly represented, and demanded to
be present at the hearings but their request was denied. The
hearings were conducted from 8:00 AM till 6:00 PM. Vice-president
Wenny was questioned for one hour and fifteen minutes while the
eight others were each questioned for one hour.
The photographs were
brought out before each worker and the Investigation Committee
repeatedly posed questions which were framed to make workers admit
that the incident was a planned effort by the TMPCWA, and that union
members had acted collectively to cause disruption. When
Vice-president Wenny demanded to know who had brought these claims
before the committee, the committee would not give the specific
nature of the claims being brought against them, answering only that
numerous supervisors have filed the case and that one supervisor
pressed the emergency button due to activities which disrupted
production. No information was given to the nine members, and these
were the first and last hearings which were just for and by the
According to the
companys' rules and regulations suspension may be imposed for a
maximum period of 30 days. The company however, claimed the process
was not completed until additional witnesses were heard from. The
suspension period was extended for another week, lasting until
August 1.Throughout the period during which the nine workers were on
suspension, numerous rumors spread throughout the company. For the
most part, the rumors held the view that the committee would not go
so far as to dismiss the workers. This was partly due to the fact
that DOLE had contacted Toyota Motors Philippines on this issue and
had made a request not to dismiss the workers. Under these
conditions, TMPCWA decided to remain calm and await the outcome of
the proceedings until August 2.
members were unjustly dismissed
Vidal, the fixed worker,
was given a written warnings on the morning of August 2, before he
returned to work. The news made the other 8 workers who will work
the night shift have a slight hope. But the company took so strict a
disciplinary action against them that four were dismissed and two
were suspended from work for 30 days.
who was one of the four members dismissed, was allegedly told in the
notification that he joined in the direct participation and caused
trouble, brought about an 18-minute line stop for a 2 units of
vehicle at the final assembly line, made a false remark at the
Investigation Committee, talked dirty to Echano, and left the
worksite without permission from the supervisor in charge. Ariel
belonging to the Grievance Committee was also dismissed for similar
reasons while Ricky, the other Grievance Committee member, was
stopped coming to work for 30 days because his supervisor testified
that Ricky had left the worksite with his permission. The other
workers who were dismissed were Belen and Pantino. They joined
direct participation, and Belen exercised violence against Santilles
while Pantino made a false testimony saying the he had not taken
pictures. Cruzado was suspended from work for 30 days because he
joined direct participation. Tanael was given a written warning
while Magdaong returned to work without blame.
What Toyoda asserted
about direct participation and threat seems strange to everyone.
Suppose that TMPCWA had planned such direct participation, and what
made the Grievance Committee members in question ask in advance the
supervisor in charge for permission to leave the worksite? What made
the supervisors take pictures which invited the TMPCWA members’
anger and press the emergency stop button. The key players on the
company’s side were two notorious supervisors, Echano and Santilles
who violate the human rights of workers and conduct power harassment
Four workers who were
unjustly fired were all in their thirties, working for Philippine
Toyota for 16 to 20 years. Of course, they each have a family to
support. Vice-president Wenny told. “The company’s decision is so
stern, and the company did not listen to our testimony at all. The
company wanted to dismiss me, Vice-president, so that I was prepared
for that. But the dismissal of the other tree members was a great
surprise and sad news to me.” He has been brave enough to confront
the company to protect the rights of workers in the plant since 233
members including President Ed , were dismissed in March 2001. The
company harassed him in many ways, and finally they dismissed the
top leader in the plant together with three TMPCWA activists. The
four dismissed members brought the case to National Conciliation &
Mediation Board (NCMB) immediately after dismissal, discussed the
matter with them 5 times to come to question the validity of the
dismissal and a reconciliation. Toyota never said yes to withdraw
the dismissal, and the matter is now handled at National Labor
Relation Commission (NLRC).
It can be said that this
fabricated dismissal by Toyota is a kind of their rally in the face
of international condemnation against the company. As clearly shown
in the ILO recommendation, Toyota has been internationally condemned
for the past 10 years because they fired 233 TMPCWA workers. In
2008, international condemnation came to the peak when an army was
stationed within the Philippine Toyota premise as well as close the
TMPCWA’s office, and an attack was attempted to President Ed, which
seemed to be an extrajudicial killings against him. ILO dispatched
High Level Mission in September 2009 to the Philippines. One of
their important missions was to bring to a prompt resolution the
Philippine Toyota’s labor dispute. ILO suggested to the Philippine
government that she would bring the matter to an out of the box
solution while Ms.
Rosalinda Baldoz ,
Secretary to DOLE took the initiatives herself to mediate between
Philippine Toyota and TMPCWA. While ILO, IMF and other international
labor organizations, including the Philippine government, took
action for resolution, Toyota, a multi-national enterprise, did not
change their stubborn attitude.
TMPCWA extended protest
campaigns inside and outside the plant for the company to withdraw
the unfair dismissal of four (4) workers. At the same time, TMPCWA
started at the end of August an international campaign to demand the
company to withdraw the dismissal of and allow 237 workers including
newly dismissed 4 members to return to work.
IMF quickly responded to
the dismissal. and General Secretary Jyrki Raina himself got in
touch with the concerned Philippine labor organizations asking them
to make efforts for early resolution. In Japan, Support Group for
TMPCWA invited President Ed and Vice-president Wenny, and conducted
a protest campaign against Toyota Motor Corporation in Toyota City
on September 20, and against Toyota Tokyo Head Office in Tokyo on
September 22. Each campaign had 100 citizen and worker
participants.In the Philippines, TMPCWA conducted a series of
protest campaign from September 27 to October 1. They conducted a
campaign on September 27 in front of Japanese Embassy Manila to ask
them to give a hand to solve the dispute. TMPCWA uttered a protest
against Philippine Toyota in front of the company on September 29,
together with 50 members from 12 countries of ATNC - Asian
Transnational Corporation Monitoring Network.
The Philippine Toyota
labor dispute represents countless labor disputes where multi
national companies do not observe the international labor standards
and violate the human rights of workers. That is why we never give
up and continue to fight in the cause of justice.
Support Group for TMPCWA (Protest Toyota
E-mail: Protest-Toyota@list.jca.apc.org :
Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers
Association (TMPCWA )
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org: http://www.tmpcwa.org
MOST MILITANT GREETINGS AND INTERNATIONAL
SOLIDARITY TO ALL DELEGATES OF ILO
INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE!
May 30, 2006
TOYOTA MOTOR PHILIPPINES CORPORATION WORKERS ASSOCIATION
Warm solidarity greetings to all the participants of the 95th Session of the International Labor Conference from Philippine Toyota workers!
First of all we would like to thanks all participants of last year Governing Body meeting that supported our struggle. The Committee on Freedom of Association - ILO, has issued its 3rd Recommendation and again favoring our Union TMPCWA. Despite of these three recommendations, the Philippine Toyota management still refused to cooperate and continuously violating both local and international laws.
Philippine Toyota and the Toyota Motor Corporation itself do not recognize and keep on ignoring ILO recommendations and think that their inhuman and unjust policies are above of these laws.
We are therefore calling the attention of all the participants to help and support our Union - TMPCWA and to urge the Philippine Toyota and Toyota Motor Corporation to abide the ILO recommendations.
REINSTATE THE 136 ILLEGALLY DISMISSED MEMBERS AND ALL OFFICERS OF THE UNION - TMPCWA!
WITHDRAW THE FABRICATED CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST 18 UNION MEMBERS AND OFFICERS!
RECOGNIZE THE UNION TMPCWA!
BEGIN THE NEGOTIATION FOR A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT TOGETHER WITH THE TMPCWA!
|The New Challenge: the Election to Certify the Union |
We will briefly mention this year's movement; since the beginning of 2005, TMPCWA have been facing a new challenge called the Certification Election of the union which Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Labor Organization (TMPCLO), the rank and file union sponsored by the company, designed in December 2002. In February 2005, TMPCLO applied for conducting the election to the Department of Labor and Employment of the Philippines (DOLE). TMPCWA objected it through legal actions but was rejected by DOLE's decision to hold the election to choose from three options: 1) TMPCLO 2) TMPCWA or 3) No Union.
This would be an election under an unfairly disadvantaged condition as all the board members of TMPCWA were fired and banned from even entering the firm site. TMPCWA thus appealed against this decision. At the same time, it launched a campaign against Toyota Motor Philippines and the Philippines Government with its support groups in the local and abroad including one in Japan. TMPCWA, however, also decided to participate in the predicted election and started preparation as it would lose its position as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent if it boycotted the election.
In August 2005, the headquarter of International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF), concerned about the situation, hold a meeting in Tokyo with TMPCWA under the leadership of its general secretary, Marcelo Malentacci in order to find a toehold to the solution. The negotiation between TMPCWA and the company began with Japan Council of Metalworkers' Unions (IMF-JC) mediation. As there was a condition here that no party would conduct attacks, especially by means of international campaigns, against the other, we suspended the publication of this news letter. The negotiation meetings were held in Tokyo in August, October and Manila in November, December and February. But TMP was on one hand indecisive about proposing a concrete plan and on the other aiding TMPCLO to play with the game of leveraging to win the votes.
The decisions of the Philippines Government seemed to have been working closely with the company's manoeuvres. At a meeting in the mid December, 2005, TMPCWA confronted TMP with a firm stance to press for a response, then, on December the 17th, DOLE announced the final decision in favour of holding the Certification Election. Preparation meetings became inevitable, and the election date was decided as on February the 16th in the last of such meetings held on February the 1st, 2006, when there was no attendance from TMPCWA. Three days later, on February the 4th, the company offered a package including compensation payment and outplacement. This was of course different from the previous ILO recommendation by far. Mr. Tabata, the former president of TMP , who attended the bargaining for the first time and for 15 minutes only, declared that it was the company's final response. Infuriated by this, those who had been dismissed rejected the offer. Thus TMPCWA re-launched an international campaign to demand TMP to cancel the election, inciting a stream of protest e-mails from all walks of the world against TMP, Toyota Motor Japan and the Philippines Government.
In the midst of this world-wide protest, the Certification Election was held in February the 16th. The result was: 424 votes for TMPCLO, 237 votes for TMPCWA, 8 votes for no union, 15 invalids, 121 challenge voters and 89 challenge voters (Illegally dismissed). This result meant that without gaining the majority of 50% + 1 simple majority vote, TMPCLO was not recognised as the sole union with the bargaining right under the Philippine's labour law, therefore, TMPCWA remained to have the right.
IMF was also infuriated by the company's attitude meanwhile, and decided to move the communication point with TMP from IMF-JC to the IMF headquarter. It then called for all Toyota's trade unions to attend a meeting held in Manila on March the 16th in which they agreed to demand TMP to reinstate the dismissed. The next day, March the 17th, they attempted to bargain with the company but the latter again rejected the reinstatement. On April the 11th, however, DOLE issued a judgement that marked TMPCLO as the winner of the election despite the protest from TMPCWA. Faced with such a deplorable situation, IMF, in its executive committee meeting in May, made an official decision to launch its own global campaign to demand TMP to reinstate the dismissed workers. TMPCWA will also take their own campaign against TMP and Toyota Motor Corporation in corporation with the Japanese support groups, Support Group for TMPCWA under collaboration of IMF Campaign.
(Protest Toyota Campaign Newsletter, ILO International Labour Conference Edition, May 30, 2006)
|Protest Toyota Campaign Newsletter No.9
March 23, 2005
Things with TMPCWA (Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association) in the Philippines have been getting severer since our News Letter was issued last autumn. There still is good news. The Committee on Freedom of Association of ILO published another report(Report No.335) that acknowledges TMPCWA's claim one year after its recommendation(Case No.2252) was made in November 2003. The Congress of the Philippines has intervened for a swift resolution. Also, TMPCWA joined an umbrella organisation across the border in order to begin negotiations with Toyota Motor Corporation, the parent company of TMPC (Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation).
This newsletter is addressed to those who we believe are concerned aboutworkers' struggle in the automobile industry. We would appreciate you if you could forward the newsletter to other people concerned.
Those who do not wish to receive the newsletter anymore, please contact Protest Toyota Campaign at email@example.com, new address. Thank you.
Protest Toyota Campaign (Support Groups for TMPCWA)
E-mail : Protest-Toyota@list.jca.apc.org
TMPCWA's Legitimacy Acknowledged
5 years have passed since TMPCWA(Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association) won a certification election in order to be recognized as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of the rank and file workers of TMPC(Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation) in March 2001. As TMPC has filed many lawsuits over the legitimacy of this election, not complying with labour negotiations at all, the industrial actions began. During this process, 233 workers including all the members of the executive committee of TMPCWA were dismissed unlawfully. A fortnight's strike was enacted stopping the production line throughout the period. TMPCWA has been forced to struggle fiercely inside and outside of the factory for these four years, but it has also seen a growing circle of support for the youth fighting for worker's rights and dignity inside and outside of the country. In September 2003, the Supreme Court issued a resolution enabling TMPCWA to request TMPC to sit at the negotiating table, and the ILO recommendation(Case No.2252), favouring TMPCWA over both the Philippine Government and TMPC, came in November the same year. The legitimacy of TMPCWA's appeal has become wholly recognised domestically and internationally as well.
The Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA), ILO, requested the Government of the Philippines to initiate labour negotiations and reinstatement of the dismissed workers to previous employment, and to withdraw the criminal charges against some of the workers. In the new report(Report No.335) of November 2004, it then expressed regret that the Government had done nothing in response after a year.
The House of Representatives of the Philippines also began to act to resolve the dispute on January the 20th, 2005, the House Committee on Labor and Employment and opened a public hearing inviting both the employer and the employees in order to research the alleged unfair labour practices of TMPC. However, TMPC did not attend the hearing causing the House Committee to announce that it would issue a subpoena to firmly request TMPC to attend next time.
As we mentioned in the last issue, TMPCWA and Protest Toyota Campaign (Support Groups for TMPCWA) jointly filed a complaint about TMPC and TMC (Toyota Motors Corporation Japan ) over the infringement of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises to OECD's national contact point (Second International Organization, Division Economic Affairs Bureau, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan) in March 2004. However, the National Contact Point in Japan has not even issued the result of its initial assessment yet after a year. We are currently requesting the NCP to conduct a prompt investigation.
Toyota Motor Corporation Sued in Japan
The TMPCWA struggle has been wide spread in Japan also. In September 2004, Ed, the President, and June, a member of the executive committee, of TMPCWA visited Japan to negotiate with TMC, the parent company of TMPC. This was for the fifth time for them to visit Japan since the 2001 strike. Each time, there was a demonstration by many overseas and Japanese workers and citizens to support TMPCWA for an early resolution of the dispute in front of the Tokyo headquarter in Tokyo and the Toyota's headquarter in Aichi prefecture, 350 km away from Tokyo, during the negotiation. This time, 200 people gathered in front of the Tokyo headquarter on September the 17th, and 50 people in front of the Toyota headquarter on September the 20th, joining Ed and June.
It is 5 year years since TMPCWA won the election for recognition, but TMPC has never even intended to respond to the request for labour negotiations, has kept filing lawsuits one after another, prolonging the whole process, and trying to economically corner the dismissed. In spite of the fact that TMC Japan is the decision maker for TMPC's management, it has been repeating a comment that "a local trouble should be dealt at the local firm" at each negotiation in Japan that began in the year 2001. TMC has not intended to take the responsibility of a multi-national corporation at all.
On September the 16th, 2004, TMPCWA decided that thinking there would be no progress of the situation without negotiating directly with TMC Japan, it would join All Japan Shipbuilding Labor Union Kanto Region/Kanagawa Regional Union (Zenzosen). TMPCWA had coped as an independent trade union without an umbrella organisation in the Philippines. But, in order to counter Toyota who shows no intention to be at the table of negotiation whatsoever, it decided the affiliation with Zenzosen and open the case in Japan as well. The relative ease to form trade unions within the Trade Union Law of Japan made it possible for TMPCWA, an overseas union, to affiliate with a Japanese umbrella organisation beyond national borders.
Zenzosen is a trade union which organises regular and irregular workers in industries of all sorts in Kanagawa prefecture, adjoining Tokyo Metropolis, enabling any single worker, including overseas worker, to join. It also organized 5 community unions, which has attracting international attention recently. It has gained a reputation for a 'genuine' trade union, enthusiastically involved in labour health and safety and social issues such as anti-war and peace movements. It is also a member organisation of Protest Toyota Campaign.
On September the 17th, 2004, TMPCWA and Zenzosen handed out an application form for the affiliation of the former to the latter and an official letter of request of collective bargaining at the table of negotiation with Tokyo headquarter of TMC. The request was rejected by Toyota. They thus filed a case of an unfair labour practice with Kanagawa Regional Labor Commission on February the 10th, 2005. Their action drew public attention as the first case in Japan and as a new form of labour movement in which a trade union contests a multi-national-corporation beyond national borders.
Continual Attacks from the Company
However, the situation in the Philippines is getting worse. Probably threatened by the spread of international support, TMPC submitted a Manifestation to the Supreme Court of the Philippines again, complaining that it has been harassed by the protests in Japan in November 2004.
The already dismissed was then unlawfully arrested. The union has been paying bails every year for its members who have been brought to charges and prosecuted for uttering abuses or glaring at the employers during their strikes. Despite the paid bails, however, the police visited houses of 5 of the unionists and threatened them with arrest. One of them was detained. Although this member was released next day by strong protest by the union, it was an unreasonable incident.
Unionists working in Toyota factories have been exposed to constant attacks from the company. Some active members were 'promoted' to an upper rank on purpose of making them lose their qualification as members of the rank and file workers union. Others were forced to do jobs such as garbage gathering or toilet cleaning, isolated from contacting with their co-workers. Since the beginning of the year 2005, the attacks became escalated.
Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Labor Organization (TMPCLO), the rank and file workers union which set up with a help of the company itself and Supervisory Union in December 2002 began campaigning for holding Certification Election for its recognition as the representative union. In February the 8th, 2005, TMPCLO filed a Petition for Certification Election (PCE) to the Department of Labor and Employment.
TMPCWA is taking legal actions to prevent TMPCLO from holding certification election, but the situation is not favorable to TMPCWA. It is likely that the Philippine government allows the election to be held. In the event that the government authorizes the election and TMPCLO wins, Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation will hold a collective bargain with TMPCLO, rank and file workers' union despite the fact that the company has not agreed to put themselves at the negotiating table with TMPCWA, the only qualified union for negotiation. TMPCWA filed a formal objection to this move to the National Labor Relation Commission in turn.
The judgement of the Supreme Court and the recommendation of the ILO, nevertheless, boosted the morale of the TMPCWA in the Philippines. More than 150 among the dismissed 233 still remain to be members today, four years after the unlawful dismissal. There is another piece of good news that membership is increasing in their factories.
In the Philippines, it is usually difficult to keep the dismissed workers organised if a dispute is filed as a court case. The activities of TMPCWA that organise the dismissed as well as their families at the same time as providing 'labour education' have thus attracted people's attention.
We ask you for your continuous support for these young workers of the Philippines, fighting against Toyota, the multi-national giant, and pursuing for human rights of workers.
Protest Toyota Campaign (Support Groups for TMPCWA)
E-mail : Protest-Toyota@list.jca.apc.org
Address : 3-6-901 Oppama Higashimachi, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa, Japan
Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association (TMPCWA )
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
|Protest Toyota Campaign Newsletter No.8
October 30, 2004
We are glad to send you the newsletter No. 8, which needed a year to be published, following the newsletter No. 7. The Supreme Court Philippines made a decision to entitle TMPAWA (Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association) to have labor/management negotiations with TMPC (Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation) while the Committee on Freedom of Association, ILO, issued the recommendation favorable to TMPCWA. TMPCWA and PTC (Protest Toyota Campaign) have filed a suit against TMPC and Toyota Motors Corp. Japan, holding that they are violating OECD's Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, which is drawing international attention, with support from France and Switzerland.
The dismissed union members have much difficulty making a living while other members working in the company have a hard time, harassed more often than not. They do not stop, nonetheless, struggling. We do hope they will be able to enjoy much more support from you.
This newsletter is addressed to those who we believe are concerned about workers'struggle in the automobile industry. We would appreciate you if you could forward the newsletter to other people concerned. Those who do not wish to receive the newsletter anymore, please contact Protest Toyota Campaign at email@example.com, new address. Thank you.
Protest Toyota Campaign (Support Groups for TMPCWA)
E-mail : Protest-Toyota@list.jca.apc.org
Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association (TMPCWA) welcomed the recommendations from the Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA), International Labor Organization at the end of November 2003 in response to TMPCWA's complaint (Case No. 2252) filed in February 2003 against the Philippine Government with the Committee. After discussing the responses from the Philippine government, CFA gave such landmark recommendations as shown below to the government. They urge the government to revise Philippine law as to the solution of labor disputes, and take necessary steps to put Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMPC) at the negotiating table with TMPCWA and to receive a research group from CFA. The recommendations are favorable not only to TMPCWA, but also to the Philippine labor.
To follow ILO'S recommendations, TMPCWA and Protest Toyota Campaign (PTC) complained in March 2004 that TMPC and Toyota Motors Corporation Japan, mother company of TMPC about their violation of the guidelines for multinational enterprises prepared by OECD. TMPCWA's struggle has reached a new stage as a result of the complaint filed with ILO and OECD over the issue, gaining support from Japan and Europe as well.
It is demanded both in the Philippines and in Japan that the resolution made by the Supreme Court be followed.
Prior to ILO's recommendation, the Supreme Court issued on September 4, 2003 a resolution that the injunction of the Court of Appeals in June 29, 2001 are SET ASIDE and NULLIFIED. This resolution has enabled TMPCWA to request TMPC to sit at the negotiating table, and TMPCWA lost no time to request the same. Also, TMPC asked many organizations through PTC to send a letter to TMPC to request them to sit at the negotiating table.
ED CUBELO, President of and MAXIMINO CRUZ, Vice-President pf TMPCWA, visited Japan to participate in the Autumn Joint Action Tokyo taken on November 19, 2003, organized by a lot of progressive labor unions. 300 workers and citizens who took the joint action requested Toyota Motors Corporation Tokyo to instruct TMPC to hold a collective bargain with TMPCWA, allow the dismissed workers to return to work and withdraw immediately the groundless criminal suit. ED and MAX moved to Toyota city on November 24, 2003 and conducted a protest campaign against Toyota Motors Corporation Aichi, together with 50 supporters. They started at 5:00 a.m. to distribute fliers in front of three plants, including the main plant, and held a meeting in protest against the Corporation while delivering a message to them. TMPCWA launched on November 24 protest action simultaneously in front of the Philippine Toyota's Bicutan plant to denounce what TMPC did to his workers.
TMPC is very angry during their visit to the picket in front of Toyota main office and distributing leaflets about these activities. They also filed manifestation with the Supreme Court that the union did coercive actions in the Supreme Court. They cited the picket protest last November 24, and also attached all the letters of the international in support to the request to start the CBA. Some union members inside the plant were placed in the floating status. They were assigned to clean and sweep the flooring for eight hours and were replaced by contractual workers in the production line.
Recommendation from the Committee on Freedom of Association, ILO
As mentioned earlier, TMPCWA filed in February 2003 a complaint to the Philippine government for their infringement of ILO Convention 87 and 98 with CFA, which fully approved in November of the complaint and pointed out to the government that it violated the Convention. The Committee also recommended the Philippine Government and Toyota Management to: 1) reinstate all the 233 union members and officers; 2) immediately begin a collective bargain with the Union to establish harmonious management-labor relation; 3) withdraw the criminal cases filed by the company; 4) accept the consultative mission for investigation; and 5) amend the relevant provision of the labor code in the region which might threaten freedom of association and the right to organize. This recommendation justified internationally what TMPCWA asserted, encouraging TMPCWA members and their supporters.
Following this, TMPCWA and PTC filed in March 2003 a complaint to TMPC and Toyota Motors Corporation Japan for the infringement of OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises with OECD's national contact point, Second International Organization, Division Economic Affairs Bureau, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. TMPCWA indicated in the complaint that "There is a material basis showing that Toyota Management committed gross violation on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.( II. General Policy and IV. Employment and Industrial Relations - 1. a),6,7,8)", and itemized the facts of violation committed by Toyota. The Ministry answered PTC that they would start to examine as soon as possible, and report the result. Five months have passed since then, but nothing has arrived at PTC. There is rumor that Toyota is reluctant to cooperate with NCP in terms of hearing.
Ignoring TMPCWA's repeated request not to, TMPC filed a petition, in the meantime, with the Supreme Court for request for retrial, which was turned down in January 2004. TMPC is still in no position to bring themselves to the negotiating table. The reaction of TMPC was to launch Labor Forum and campaigning that the TMPCWA's Union President lied in filing it to OECD and destroyed the good image of Toyota Motors in the international community. The Union reacted against the company, sending a letter of protest to Mr. President Tabata, TMPC, and distributed the fliers to the worker in the plant to tell them the truth. It also held forums to show their protest against TMPC.
World Social Forum was held in January 2004 in Mumbai India, where TMPCWA and PTC also distributed 3,000 fliers to make the participants aware of the status quo of the issue. In France, Peuples Solidaires, a French NGO, started a protest campaign against Toyota by sending letters of protest to the company as there is another labor dispute at Valenciennes Plant, France. Also in Japan, a protest campaign was started to send letters of protest to Toyota in response to TMPCWA' s request. PTC and Japanese supporting labor unions and NGOs took on April 4, 2004 a protest action as part of "Joint Action Spring 2004" in front of Toyota Motors Corporation Tokyo. The participants demanded Toyota to observe the resolution made by the Supreme Court and follow ILO's recommendation. In reply, Toyota Motors Company said that "We know that we are being severely criticized by ILO's recommendation and Philippine Supreme Court resolution, and for not abiding by OECD's Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, but can not put ourselves at the negotiating table as we are being heard at the Court of Appeals."
President ED paid a visit to ILO
ED Cubelo, President of TPCWA and four members of PTC (3 from Japan and 1 from France) visited Geneva from May 29 to June 12, 2004 to observe the ILO general meeting held there and extended lobbying to seek support because they have demanded Toyota to fully follow the recommendation by ILO. ICFTU, International , local Swiss and French labor unions know much about TMPCWA's struggle, ILO's recommendation and TMPCWA's complaint filed with OECD, showing strong support for TMPCWA. This gave ED and TMPCWA a big encouragement. He was also moved by ILO staffers' kind hospitality.
During their stay in Europe, TMPCWA and PTC members visited on June 8 Valenciennes Plant, France, accompanied by Peuples Solidaires member and exchanged with CGT （Confederation General du Travail） union members. According to Mr. President Eric, Toyota CGT, of 3,200 workers, CGT has gained support from 49% of them, but Toyota does not like to negotiate with CGT, and they are in the course of forming a company union. Labor accidents which happened at Valenciennes Plant in 2003 amounted to 141, and many other accidents reportedly did not surface. 115 workers were sacked and CGT brought 8 cases of such dismissal to the district labor committee. TMPCWA, PTC,CGT and Peuples Solidaires members discussed and agreed that they would strengthen international solidarity among the Philippines, France and Japan, and make efforts to gain support from workers and citizens all over the world, especially to work on the Toyota workers.
ED met on June 11 Sec. Patricia Sto. Tomas, the Philippine Secretary of Labor and Employment, as delegate of the Philippine Government and informed her that the ILO issued a recommendation in favor of TMPCWA and the final decision of the Supreme Court. She told him that she will contact TMPC when she come back to Philippines and inform the matter to the concerned person in the company. President ED was interviewed by media persons both in Switzerland and in France, which helped the public there know more about TMPCWA's struggle.
It seems that Toyota is being driven into a tight corner by ILO's recommendation and TMPCWA's filing a complaint with OECD. It can be known from a simple fact that not less than 5 Toyota directors, including Mr. Okuda Hiroshi, representative of Japan's employers (Chairperson of Japan Federation of Economic Organizations), attended the ILO General Meeting. Mr.Okuda proposed the establishment of Business Ethics as one of the policies of Japan Federation of Economic Organizations and the reinforcement of leadership of the top management and complete establishment of Compliance and Corporate Governance. This proposal was published on 15th October, with penal regulations in case of violation, as "Charter for Good Corporate Behavior" in October,2002. Toyota was the first Japanese company to join, in December 2003, CSR Europe, a promotion organization in Europe of Corporate Social Responsibility, based in Brussels, Belgium. They want to appeal to people in Europe they are well ready to take CSR. It was disclosed in December 2003, however, that some Toyota's employees leaked some questions of a technical skill examination. What makes the matter worse, they werecomplained that they had infringed upon OECD's Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, which was internationally known.
TMPCWA members were discharged without good reason and are jobless and in poor condition. Despite that many members have refused even now to receive retirement allowances and are in struggle against Toyota. It is their spirit that seeks justice that attracts people's attention and is gaining more and more support from the Philippines, Japan and Europe.
●The full text of the recommendations from the Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA), International Labor Organization can be reached at the website:
Protest Toyota Campaign (Support Groups for TMPCWA)
E-mail : Protest-Toyota@list.jca.apc.org
Address : 3-6-901 Oppama Higashimachi, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa, Japan
Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association (TMPCWA )
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
|Protest Toyota Campaign Newsletter No.7
September 6, 2003
We are sending you our News Letter No.7.This newsletter is addressed to those who we believe are concerned about workers'struggle in the automobile industry. We would appreciate you if you could forward the newsletter to other people concerned. Those who do not wish to receive the newsletter anymore, please contact Protest Toyota Campaign at Protest-Toyota@jca.apc.org. Thank you.
Protest Toyota Campaign
TMPCWA Struggle Against Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation
Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMPC) did not agree to accept the decision made by the Philippine government that Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association (TMPCWA) is a rank and file labor union, and the parties took legal action against each other repeatedly, which forced TMPCWA to resort to a two-week long strike starting at the end of March 2001. TMPC illegally dismissed 233 employees, including all the executive members of TMPCWA, and brought a criminal suit against 23 TMPCWA members who committed a "grave coercion" by staring and uttering violent words to those employees who tried to break the strike in support of TMPC.
TMPCWA is struggling against TMPC at the trials and even at the workplace by keeping in touch with Union members working inside the plant. TMPCWA demands that TMPC should reinstate the illegally dismissed employees, recognize the Union, withdraw the criminal cases filed against 23 Union executives and members, and start negotiations with the Union on collective bargaining agreement.
It has been more than 2 years since the strike took place. The Philippine government has made a lot of decisions favorable to TMPC as the government was threatened by TMPC as well as other Japanese companies operating in the Philippines. The Japanese corporations would suggest their withdrawal from the country unless the Philippine government brings a solution to labor disputes. On the other hand, the Japanese government has made bilateral investment agreement with Singapore and South Korea so far, and is in a preparation for a similar agreement with Mexico and other ASEAN nations. What the Japanese government wants to gain from such a bilateral agreement is obvious. They want an assurance that there will be no labor disputes occur in the respective countries. TMPCWA struggle against TMPC is a good example to show how the bilateral investment agreement serves perfectly for multi-national corporations and how terribly it drives workers to the wall.
What is noteworthy here is that TMPCWA struggle is supported and encouraged by international solidarity, especially with Japanese workers who are in the same situation like the TMPCWA members. Immediately after the strike in April 2001, Mr. Ed G. Cubelo, the TMPCWA president visited Japan. Since then, several TMPCWA members have been invited to Japan in the fall. They not only demonstrated protest actions against TMPC but made negotiations with the company in cooperation with the Japanese workers and ordinary citizens. In return, some Japanese nationals have visited the Philippines for four times so far in July through 2001 and 2003 as well as in October 2002. While they were in the Philippines, they joined protest actions organized by TMPCWA against TMPC, Japanese Embassy, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. International solidarity-based activities have resulted to encourage us and deepen our trust to each other, while making it possible to continue the joint struggle against corporate globalization led by multi-national companies that control even national governments.
UPDATES of the struggle
Two TMPCWA executive members came to Japan in November 2002. On November 22, they held a protest action against Japan Federation of Employers' Associations; Mecca of the Japanese business world, which is headed by Mr. Okuda Hiroshi who are the CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation Japan. Considering its prestigious position, Mr. Okuda has developed a series of new policies, including "Charter for Good Corporate Behavior". This is a guideline addressed to Japanese companies that disregard corporate ethics and cause a lot of troubles in countries they operate. According to the charter, the companies are to comply with any local laws abiding by corporate citizenship. At the federation, TMPCWA and members of its support group had met some of its staff and demanded to recognize what the TMPC has done within its complex against the charter. Meanwhile, the supporters were holding a protest meeting outside. A group of 150 supporters then picketed at Toyota Motor Corporation Tokyo to protest against its wrong behavior and demanded to redress the situation. On November 24-25, TMPCWA members and the supporters went to Toyota city in which main office of Toyota Motor Corporation is located for the purpose of holding protest actions with local workers and citizens.
In the Philippines, TMPCWA picketed on January 17, 2003 at Toyota Bel-air, which is one of the Toyota dealers. Informed by the dealer, TMPC offered a dialogue's to TMPCWA. The Union had talks on January 25 with the Toyota's I.R Manager. There the manager told TMPCWA members that Mr. Go, the Vice-president of TMCP wants to know what TMPCWA thought about the picket and offered severance pay to the dismissed workers with an additional amount. However, TMPCWA turned down the offer and claimed again that TMPC should reinstate the dismissed workers and start labor-management negotiations. To answer that, the management declared that they would crush TMCPWA by any means. In fact, TMPC has been sending organizers of Toyota Workers Labour Association (TWLA) and Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Labor Organization (TMPCLO) who are in favor of TMPC to the families of the dismissed workers to force them to accept the severance pay.
TMPCWA filed its case at ILO Commission on freedom of association in February 2003, saying that the Philippine government and TMPC are violating ILO Conventions No. 87 and 98. It is because the government, although it has ratified the Conventions, is not willingly to abide by them, and prevents the workers from exerting their freedom of association and right to collective agreement assured by the Convention. The Commission accepted the appeal (Case No. 2252) in March, and is going to start an investigation into the matter at the end of the year at the latest, following a reply to be made by the government. It is planned to launch a campaign both in the Philippines and in Japan to draw people's attention to the matter before the ILO general meeting is held next year.
TMPCWA has taken protest actions many times against the Supreme Court andthe Court of Appeal asking for a quick and just decision. They held a picketon March 12, and a nightlong meeting (VIGIL) on March 26 through 28, 2003because the Court of Appeal made a decision favorable to TMPC over thecomplaint that TMPCWA went on an illegal strike. The protest action againstthe Court of Appeal was successfully held on March 12. Yet the VIGIL onand after March 26 was blocked by police officers immediately after candleswere lit. In April, TMPC took a measure and promoted some of the unionmembers, especially the active ones working inside the plant. Meanwhilethe Bonding Agency ordered the members under criminal trial to pay a newbail. TMPCWA thus is still under continued attacks by both TMPC and thePhilippine government, but the good news is that youths of the Union arevery active and they are full of energy. On the May day this year, TMPCWAcalled for a boycott campaign of Toyota products to people gathered.
Good news from Japan
Japanese labor unions such as Isuza Branch Union and Yasaka (Isuzu's subcontractor) Branch Union are the enthusiastic supporters of TMPCWA. Members of those unions are being threatened to quit because of company restructuring. They keep in contact with TMPCWA members, encouraging each other to continue their struggle. The following shows two pieces of good news from them.
Isuzu Motors Ltd. is manufacturing trucks under GM. It was May 2001 that Isuzu Motors Ltd. announced so-called "Isuzu V plan" to cut its work force of 13000 employees, which one-third work for Isuzu Motors Ltd. and its affiliated companies. The plan was introduced just one month after that TMPCWA visited Japan to gain support from Japanese labor unions and workers. According to "Isuzu V plan", Kawasaki Plant where the Isuzu Branch Union members and the Yasaka Branch Union members work is to be shut down by 2005. The workers stood up to oppose the restructuring and downsizing policy of the company, and fortunately their demand was accepted by a company union of Isuzu; Isuzu Motors Ltd. Labor Union. The struggle against restructuring and downsizing of the company has been carried out by these two minor labor unions to which a local network of struggling labor unions have given a hand.
While "Isuzu V plan" is under way, Yasaka, a subcontractor to Isuzu, was informed that their contract will be terminated. Right after the news, Yasaka dismissed suddenly 4 union members. The Yasaka Branch Union quickly set up a protest action against Yasaka on the following day to demand Isuzu to reinstate the members and guarantee an employment. The Branch Union carried out a 3-day long protest sit-in in April 2002 in front of Isuzu Motors Ltd, which replied to the Branch Union later that they would make an effort to re-hire them.
Demonstrations were held in front of Isuzu Kawasaki Plant on September 16, 2002 and February 11, 2003 by the Union members, supported by more than 600 supporters in total. As a result, Yasaka offered a letter of apology to the Branch Union on March 1, 2003 and made an agreement with the Branch Union that the company would withdraw the dismissal of all the members and pay compensation.
Struggle of the Isuzu Branch Union also bore fruit. Isuzu Motors Ltd. carried out a mass dismissal of 4300 employees in September 2002 without holding a collective bargaining, insisting that the employees quit voluntarily. The Isuzu Branch Union filed a complaint over the matter at the regional labor committee because of the unlawful labor act. In February 2003, Isuzu Motors Ltd. made an apology to the Isuzu Branch Union for its unfaithful action of not holding a collective bargaining, and made an agreement that the company would take a responsibility and a reasonable action in advance when there is a grave change in the employees' working conditions providing compensation. Nonetheless "Isuzu V plan" is still under way, and the struggle of Isuzu Branch Union against Isuzu Motors Ltd. is continued. Yet we are happy to learn that such a struggle as supported by many friends from local and global marked a small yet hopeful victory.
Protest Toyota Campaign (Support Groups for TMPCWA)
E-mail : Protest-Toyota@jca.apc.org
Address : 3-6-901 Oppama Higashimachi, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa, Japan
Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association (TMPCWA )
E-mail : email@example.com
|Protest Toyota Campaign Newsletter No.6
December 11, 2002
Japanese mass media published the news recently with heavy headlines that Japan and China celebrated the 30th anniversary of the restoration of their mutual diplomatic relations, and Tianjin Toyota, an affiliated company of Toyota Motor Corporation, started production in China. The corporation is planning to invest more on China, expecting to produce cars at an annual rate of 400,000 units by 2010. They produced 250,000 cars in Asia in 2001, and they might transfer production bases in other Asian countries to China.
Toyota Motor Corporation marked a sales amount of 15.1trillion Yen and an ordinary income of 1.1trillion Yen at the end of the settlement of the current term, recording the highest both in sales and income in Japanese history. They ranked third in the number of units produced, following General Motors and Ford. Mr. CEO Okuda Hiroshi was appointed Chair of Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Nippon Keidanren), a combination of former Keidanren and Nikkeiren (Japan Federation of Employers' Association) at the end of May 2002, and he is second to none in Japan's economic world.
Mr. CEO Okuda stated to the leaders of Japan's scandal-polluted business world that it is a goal of Nippon Keidanren's to review corporate ethics, encouraging them to take the initiative. Nippon Keidanren revised Charter for Good Corporate Behavior, and he also declared that he is in favor of the Kyoto Protocol. He was quoted as saying with an emphasis on Toyota gentle to the environment that Toyota Motor Corporation will promote the production of hybrid cars.
It is this Toyota Motor Corporation, however, that has violated the human rights of employees working for their plants all over the world, as is apparent from what they have done to the employees working for Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMPC).
TMPC disregarded the decision made by the Philippine government that the Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers' Association (TMPCWA) is a rank and file trade union, which caused the management and labor to sue each other successively for years. As a result, the workers were forced to depend on the last resort, going on strike. TMPC claimed that the strike was against law, dismissing 233 workers without good reason. On top of that, the company threatened the Philippine government that it would retreat from the Philippines, together with other Japanese companies, unless the labor dispute was resolved to their satisfaction. This helped them get a decision favorable to them from the Philippine government.
In addition, the company went far to take a criminal action against 25 union members because of a "grave coercion" that they stared and railed at some persons standing by the company. They were indicted with the Fiscals Office in March 2002, and were to be put into prison unless they offered bail. Urgent fund raising was conducted both in Japan and the Philippines, which enabled them to escape prison. TMPCWA is busy handling such trial cases and conduct protest campaigns.
Let's look at a brighter side. Supported by Japanese workers and citizens,TMPCWA started in June 2002 to run the Agri-Program, a poultry and a piggeryprojects and Credit Cooperative. The Agri-Program is intended to help thoseunion members who were dismissed in an unfair manner. Of 233 workers fired,169 workers refused to receive their retirement allowances and have continuedto fight against the company. Most of the dismissed are still trying tofind a job, but companies will not hire them because they went on a strikeagainst TMPC and were dismissed. It is difficult for them to make a livingsupporting their family. Some dismissed workers returned to their homevillage. In the meantime, there are found some dismissed workers who wantto participate in the Agri-Program. TMPCWA discussed the matter, concludingthat they would start the project at two sites. The first harvest was alreadyover at the poultry and they marketed their products. The Credit Cooperativewas also launched so that the members may be loaned on condition that theyinvest regularly, and the Cooperative is attracting more and more members.
A group of 14 workers and citizens was sent from Japan on July 28 to August 2, 2002 to see how the project is going on and to exchange with TMPCWA. This is for the second time that such a group was dispatched. It is on the morning of July 30 that the fact that TMPC is in a close giver-receiver relationship with the Philippine government was brought to light.
Dismissed workers and their family members totaling 150 were planning on this day to carry out a usual and peaceful picket protest in front of the Supreme court and the court of Appeals to seek a fair trial. The Immigration Bureau Commissioner announced using mass media such as newspaper and radio that Japanese would be put under arrest and deported if they joined the protest. Who told the director that the group was staying in Manila? As advised by the Headquarter of Toyota Motor Corporation in Tokyo which has said repeatedly that local issues should be solved locally, the support group for TMPCWA sent a letter of request to TMPC in advance, asking the local company to meet them while they are in the Philippines. The company said "No" to the group by way of their attorney at law, saying that they can not meet them because the matter is pending at court. It is probable that the local company put pressure on the Philippine government.
Despite the remarks made by the Immigration Bureau Commissioner, the group joined the protest as planned, and the Commissioner announced again a comment through mass media that they would be deported. Such news resulted in making Philippine people aware of the TMPCWA's struggle against TMPC, which put their plant at the highest level of alert, inspiring a false story to its workers that the group is composed of terrorists.
On the day which followed the picket protest, the Supreme court made a ruling which was favorable to the local company. In addition, President Arroyo visited the TMPC Plant on October 10, 2002, accompanied by Mr. Cho Fujio, Toyota President, and reportedly thanked him for the hybrid car given to her by Toyota Motor Corporation when she visited Japan in May this year.
Subsequently to last year, two TMPCWA leaders came to Japan on November21, staying till 29, 2002. They visited on Nov. 22 Toyota Motor CorporationTokyo and Nippon Keidanren, accompanied by 200 Japanese supporters. Theymoved on Nov. 25 to Toyota City and conducted a campaign of protest againstand made negotiations with Toyota Motor Corporation, together with 40 localsupporters. They called on Toyota Motor Corporation at the negotiatingtable, to withdraw unfair dismissal of 233 Philippine workers and holda management and labor negotiation. They also mentioned that what ToyotaPhilippines had done against TMPCWA did not go with "Charter of GoodCorporate Behavior" formulated under the leadership of Mr. Okuda Hiroshi,President of Nippon Keidanren. Japanese and Philippine workers submittedto Nippon Keidanren a demand letter as attached to this newsletter.Thetwo TMPCWA leaders were present at meetings participated by 400 supportersheld in Tokyo and Kawasaki respectively and also at another one joinedby 50 supporters in Toyota City. They successfully confirmed internationalsolidarity with Japanese workers and citizens.
Solidarity between Japanese and Philippine workers is spreading more, overriding the frame of support to TMPCWA struggle.
As mentioned in Newsletter No. 5, Zen-Zosen (Kanto Regional Council of the Japan All Shipbuilding and Engineering Union), the Isuzu Branch Union and the Yasaka Branch Union, both under the umbrella of the Union, are continuing struggle against Isuzu Motors Ltd's restructuring policy headed by GM. 500 supporters gathered in front of the Isuzu Kawasaki Plant which was expected to close on September 16, 2002 to hold a meeting to protest against Isuzu Motors Ltd. Following this, a three-day long sit-in struggle was carried out. Solidarity messages given by TMPCWA and the Daewoo Motor Workers' Union Korea were read out at the meeting, which stimulated very much the Japanese workers being in struggle against Isuzu Motors Ltd.
Our movement is, no doubt, growing more and more to resist corporate globalization, let the governments and business worlds respect workers' dignity and build another world.
Protest Toyota Campaign :
Support Groups for TMPCWA
Address : 3-6-901 Oppama Higashimachi, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa, Japan
E mail : Protest-Toyota@jca.apc.org
Attention of Mr. Okuda Hiroshi, President of the Japan Business Federation
In the article 8 of the "Charter for Good Corporate Behavior" that the NIPPON KEIDANREN published on last October 15th, it is said that Japanese companies "must respect the customs and traditions, and contribute to the development of their host countries". Also, in the "Guidance for the Execution of Charter for Good Corporate Behavior" , as a concrete example of action plan regarding article 8, it is written that "1)local laws and rules concerning the conduct of business companies must be respected. 1. the Labor Law, the Law on Taxes, Environmental Law, Monopoly Law, Consumers Protection Law, and the duties for the acquisition of product certification, all local laws must be carefully studied and respected."
But the Toyota Philippines which belongs to the Toyota Company of which Mr.Okuda you are chairman, is clearly violating the article 8 of the "Charter for Good Corporate Behavior" by its attacks against the union TMPCWA.
It is now necessary that Toyota company urge Toyota Philippines to stop its oppression of the union and establish regular relationships between the workers and the management. The union TMPCWA and the workers of the Philippines, the workers and citizens of Japan ask you to :
1 Reinstate the 233 Illegally Dismissed Workers, members of TMPCWA;
2 Withdraw all criminal cases filed against TMPCWA members;
3 Recognize TMPCWA as the Sole and Certified Bargaining Agent of the rank and file workers of Toyota Motor Philippines. Corporation;
4 Start the Collective Bargaining negotiation with TMPCWA;
In this Protest Toyota Campaign No. 5, we would like to carry a letter addressed to TMPCWA sent by the Chairperson of the Isuzu Branch Union of ZEN-ZOSEN(Kanto Regional Council of the Japan All Shipbuilding and Engineering Union), a Japan-based trade union, fighting against the dismissal and the rationalization of the industry. The Isuzu Branch Union and the Yasaka Branch Union, affiliated with the ZEN-ZOSEN are the strongest supporters of the Protest Toyota Campaign. They too have been facing the rationalization by the General Motors and the Isuzu Motors since May 2001, coincidentally when this campaign started. In March 2002, workers at the Yasaka Kenko, a subcontractor of the Isuzu Motors, were suddenly dismissed. Up to the present, workers fighting against the unfair labor practices both in the Philippines and Japan have been exchange solidarity messages and communication. The workers of the Yasaka Branch Union and the Isuzu Branch Union are being greatly encouraged by TMPCWA. We would appreciate you if you could forward the newsletter to other people concerned.
Protest Toyota Campaign Support Groups for TMPCWA
Address : 3-6-901 Oppama Higashimachi, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa, Japan
E mail : Protest-Toyota@jca.apc.org
|Protest Toyota Campaign Newsletter No.5
June 14, 2002
Dear friends of TMPCWA,
We are grateful to you for the solidarity message addressed to the members of Isuzu Branch Union and Yasaka Branch Union, affiliated with ZEN-ZOSEN . We will give you full support in order not to isolate your labor union by groping out and deploying a firm protest against the Management's pressure on you of subjecting 25 labor union members to a criminal case. It may be very difficult and for this reason, we, laborers must be united with confidence in each other and make an international labor movement jointly and severally to appeal the Toyota's foul play socially and reproach it internationally. We regard the TMPCWA's struggle with respect. We would like to inform you of our struggle and the present situation, as below.
Isuzu Motor's Restructuring Rationalization="Isuzu V Plan"
Isuzu Motor Co., where we work, is a manufacturer of diesel trucks and buses with its head office in Tokyo factories in Kawasaki, Tochigi, Fujisawa and Hokkaido, and a workforce of 12,500 employees. After its tie-up with GM in 1971, it continually invested into the field of Passenger and RV (Recreational Vehicle) cars without success in the sales and had to withdraw there from in 1992. GE owns 49% shares of Isuzu since the year of 1999. Isuzu, resulting from slackening in the management performance, has its interest bearing liabilities approximately over one (1) trillion yen and has been urged by GM to take measures to emerge out of the red quickly. Toward the end of May 2001, it has come up with a rationalization plan=a medium-term management plan so-called "Isuzu V Plan" indicating a direction "To stride for slimming and restoring corporate structure in real value; To aim for establishing a global enterprising system by making the best use of the Isuzu Group's ability and tie-up with the GM" "Isuzu V Plan" calls for, among other things, reducing in the group's total workforce of 38,000 to 13,000 employees (34.5% cut) by the end of March 2004. Reduction of its 109 affiliated companies by 40%. And Closing down of Kawasaki factory(Manufacturing large sized trucks and engines with 2100 employees plus sub-contracted 26 companies with their approximate 500 employees in the premises)by the yearend of 2005. On the other hand, in accordance with the GM's global strategy, Isuzu has invested in construction of production factories of trucks and buses in Asia such as China, Thailand, etc., also in construction of production factories of diesel engines in Poland (in the year of 1997) and in USA (1998).
Isuzu Motor has been sacrificing the workers.
The Isuzu Motor is trying to pay for their failure in the management at the expense for the workers. Isuzu Motor's liabilities in excess of assets, amounting to Yen 19.25 billions (the worst 2 of listed companies) being as the actual condition of results, and bearing the excessive deficit and loan, the company has not yet extricated from the weak financial structure and been rated as the business slumped in the Government's synthetic measure to counter deflation, it would be inevitable to be pressed by the financial and other facilities to cope with the situation." was the explanation given by the Management to freeze the wages and hold down the rate of one time allowance as low as 2.8 months in response to the union's 02 Spring Labor Offensive demand for wage hikes lodged on March 15. The Management's immediate representation thereafter was to carry out a wage cut of 7% for the forthcoming one year (estimated to save Yen 3 billions annually), insisting on that with the Isuzu Labor Union （Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers' Union）with the majority having already agreed thereon, the Isuzu Branch Union with the few should follow the suit (making an expanded application). The Isuzu Branch Union has been still negotiating, making a protest against it. With the accounts closing at the end of March, Isuzu has discarded the sub-contractors stationed in the premises one after another. The four members of the Yasaka Branch Union were also suddenly dismissed. Yasaka Kenko Co. (25 employees), one of the sub-contracted companies in the premises, suddenly gave notice on March 29, of discharging all its employees as of March 31, for the reason of the contract with Isuzu expiring on this day. March 29 was being the Inventory day for the end of period, no operational work was scheduled and almost all employees were absent (to consume paid holidays by order) on that day, with the exception of Mr. Shimizu, General Secretary of Yasaka Branch Union, who was present and given the notice all of sudden. Mr. Shimizu rejected it, making a protest to the management "A notice relating to such an important matter cannot be accepted without collective bargaining in advance" and he returned the notice. To cope with this situation, ZEN-ZOSEN having its emergency meeting, decided to launch out its protesting action and struggle for retaining employment, demanding for collective bargaining with not only the Yasaka Kenko Co. but also the Isuzu Motor Co. itself as the responsible parties for the
Since the announcement of " Isuzu V Plan", the management became more aggressive to the workers. In reaction to it, the Joint Conference for the Support of Isuzu Workers was organized, consisted of the member organizations of ZEN-ZOSEN, local trade unions and citizens. The Isuzu Branch Union and the Yasaka Branch Union have been continuing the protest actions together with the Joint Conference for the Support of Isuzu Workers. The followings are the outline of our struggle.
1. 2002,February 11 Hanging out a slogan of "Against 2.11 Close-down of Factory! Cancel restructuring rationalization plan of firing 13,000 employees!" we rallied in front of the Kawasaki Factory's gate and filed a protest with the management, and thereafter made a demonstration parade around the factory's circumference, for that as many as 320 people attended and were applauded by the spectators in the area. During the rally, a solidarity message from The Daewoo Motor Workers' Union was read.
2. 2002,March 14 We joined the rally organized by "Kanagawa Spring Labor Offensive One Day Action" and had a rally at the Kawasaki Factory, lodging a protest with the Management, and then joined the protest action being made by Sumitomo Uraga Branch Unions' struggle against the management's rationalization execution, and thereafter made a demonstration rally and parade at the Kawasaki Station's vicinity (500 people attended).
3. 2002, April 11-16 On April 11, a request action was made against the Head Office of Isuzu Motor, in response to the sudden dismissal of the four workers, as mentioned earlier. We had a rally at the Isuzu's head office, lodging a protest, requesting for its responsibility for the employment. We staged a sit-down demonstration to protest the Isuzu's lacking in sincerity. Notice was then given to the Management to the effect that we would have to repeat this sit-down protesting demonstration all day long from next day, and did so on the days of April 12, 15 and 16, when we called off this tactics as the Management conceded to have a negotiation with us.
4. 2002,April 17 We joined the rally organized by the "No to the Koizumi's Reform! No to War! The Joint Action For Spring 2002", covering the Kanto region. In the evening, 750 of the rally participants marched to the Diet Building. ZEN-ZOSEN protested the GM Japan regarding the Isuzu Motor dispute, the Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation's attempt to disband the trade union, the Tokyo Head Office of Toyota Motor in relation to the dismissal of Japanese-Latino workers by the Hino Motor, and the Head Office of the Sumitomo Heavy Equipments in relation to the lay off and reduction of salary inflicted on the member of Sumitomo Uraga Branch Union.
In such ways, we have been struggling against the reckless attempts by private corporations, together with our comrades here. The dismissed members of the Yasaka Branch Union continue trying to go to the workplace and distribute handbills everyday. In our request, we have been repeatedly denouncing that the restructuring is a result of the irresponsibility of the management at the expense of the workers. However, the management never responded to our request, as of June 14, 2002.
International Solidarity and Our Strategy
In the progress of "Globalization" under the GM's managerial strategy, Isuzu is taking an active part in discharging its domestic workers. However, not only the Japanese workers are sacrificed. In the case of Korea, under the GM's affiliated concern, a formal contract has been signed to acquire Daewoo Automobile Co. by purchase. The oppression to the Daewoo Motor Workers' Unions including mass personnel cut, not only by the Management also by the Korean Government's intervention therein, was subjected to a criticism worldwide. "GM Daewoo Automobile Co." is to be established thereafter. The GM, owning 49% shares of Isuzu is considered in a position to form a plan for the Isuzu's future according to its worldwide strategy. The following labor organizations in Korea, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, the Korean Metal Workers' Federation, the Daewoo Motor Workers' Union, Joint Struggle Headquarters against Daewoo Motor, and Daewoo Automobile Sales Workers' Union have sent us their solidarity message to our protest rally carried out at the front of Kawasaki Factory. They said, "Fighting against the GM capitalism, it could be a key to the victory to fight together with the Isuzu's labor jointly and severally" in their message. We shall not tolerate oppression of trade unions by TNCs based in Japan and the USA. It is a responsibility of Japanese workers not to tolerate the reckless attempt by the Toyota Motor. We firmly determine that we would establish the international solidarity among workers in the automobile industry. We shall fight against criminal persecution by the management! TMPCWA shall overcome. Workers in the world, unite ! Let's fight together.
Kanto Regional Council of the Japan All Shipbuilding and Engineering Union(ZEN-ZOSEN) Forohashi Osamu, Chairperson of Isuzu Branch Union
|Protest Toyota Campaign Newsletter No.4
April 30, 2002
Following the Protest Toyota Campaign Newsletter No.3, we would like to send you he Newsletter No 4, carrying the latest information from Ed Cubelo,the president of TMPCWA and the solidarity message in commemoration of May Day.
On 17 April, as a part of the initiatives of "No to the Koizumi's Reform Program ! No to War ! The Joint Action for Spring 2002", concerted action consisted of part time workers, workers employed by subcontractors, and foreign migrant workers, we organized a porest rally against the Tokyo Headquarters of Toyota Motor Corporation. About 200 people participted in the acition.
During this rally, "Joint Action" also made a protest against Isuzu Motor Corporation, a subsidiary of GM, that has been implementing their restructure program. On the same night, "The Joint Action" organized a protest march up to the Diet Building. About 800 people joined the march.
We have been encouraging with each other between Japanese and Filipino workers, such as by exchanging solidarity messages.
We would appreciate you if you could forward the newsletter to other people concerned.
Protest Toyota Campaign : Support Groups for TMPCWA
Address : 3-6-901 Oppama Higashimachi, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa, Japan
E mail : Protest-Toyota@jca.apc.org
MAY 1 CELEBRATION MESSAGE of Toyota-Philippines workers 1 May 2002
As the Philippines celebrates centenary of May 1 celebration, the workers of Toyota joins workers worldwide in celebrating this special day for the working class. Today, we are commemorating the numerous struggles and sacrifices that the working class had unselfishly paid for the emancipation of his brethren. Sacrifices that brought countless victories, that are worth reflecting and renewing our firm resolve for militant class struggle against exploitation of huge capitalists. Driven by high-end of technology and unbridled finance, the system is destroying the forces of production in all countries. In the industrial capitalist countries, profits are maximized thru continued attack on the workers' rights, wages and social benefits. This is further compounded by mass unemployment. As a result, workers and other exploited classes are launching militant protest actions even in highly industrialized countries such as Japan. Particularly in the case of Japan, its economy is currently experiencing turmoil since Koizumi assumed to power. Even his new multi-million dollar residence is not an assurance to drive away "bad spirits" besetting his administration. In the Philippines however, together with other backward economies that depends on loaned money and export of raw materials, manufacture of consumer goods for export, compounded by trade deficits and foreign debt, the picture is worst. Centuries of this economic system had brought complete destruction to national industries and unsurpassed profit taking from big-compradors. While it crushes people's lives in unprecedented manner, it is producing violent contradictions among the exploiting class. Predators are now attacking their own kind. The need for all the workers in the world to unite is urgent more than ever. But this unity must take concrete actions and activities. Cohesive and dynamic relations among workers, be in formal alliances or networks, will be necessary. Militancy among workers in the trade union movement, joined with other militant and progressive organizations and mass movements against the exploiting capitalist is an integral part. Under proletarian internationalism, we need to continuously fight our common enemy. The Filipino workers particularly the Toyota workers, are one with the Japanese workers in faithfully adhering to this cause. We support even as we struggle, all the trade unions and workers and organizations in the world, in the historic struggle against all forms of exploitation to all the peoples of the world. Let us continuously strive to travel the road to final victory.
TMPCWA-Update as of April 26, 2002
LEGAL AND CRIMINAL CASE
In relation with the criminal cases filed by Toyota management against 25 union members and officers of TMPCWA last September 2001, our struggle continues. By the help of the support group in Japan in raising money for the bail, accused were temporarily release by the Municipal Trial Court. Last April 12, 2002, twenty persons voluntarily appeared in the court with the assistance of one of the associate of Atty. Sarmiento and filed in the court our petition for review to defer arraignment but the management lawyer also filed their opposition to defer arraignment. After the said hearing, we asked the bonding agency about our bail. They assisted us by following it up with the MTC, for the release schedule of 20 persons accused. We received release order for temporary liberty of 20 persons last April 19, 2002. Next hearing will be on June 26, 2002.
The separate cases of 7 person are still pending for resolution. The last hearing was on April 12, 2002. We submitted our counter-rejoinder affidavit for resolution. In several instances during the hearing of the 7 persons, the management lawyer attempted to talk to the union president regarding the union's labor cases against the company. The management lawyer first attempted to convince us to withdrew our labor cases and in exchange, they will withdrew their criminal cases against us. As we are undaunted, the lawyer changed tactics by convincing us to accept the payment they are offering for the dismissed workers and let the case be resolve in court. Of course this is a way of the management to fool the workers.
The management lawyer also talk to our lawyer (Atty. Ruga) and admitted that the criminal cases against us is a way of the management to weaken our force, and to discourage the workers.
In a related development, television program "True Crime" of channel 2 afternoon edition, aired a video coverage on extortion involving fiscal Quetulio of Paranaque Municipal Trail Court. This is the very fiscal who charged criminal case against our members. After he was caught in the act of extorting money from his victim, using a hidden camera, he was immediately arrested by National Bureau of Investigation. We are planning to inform our membership regarding this matter.
Regarding our two major cases in the Supreme Court, the Assumption of Jurisdiction of the Labor Secretary and the Injunction of the Certification Election. We filed in the Supreme Court last April 22, 2002, a reply to the solicitor general's comment in support to the Assumption of Jurisdiction by the DOLE. This is the last step before the Supreme Court hand its final decision regarding the 2 labor cases mentioned above.
Last March 18, 2002, we had a picket-protest in Toyota Santa Rosa branch. Even with 30 policemen and 30 company guards, we continued our program. The program is a whole day activity. Some union members joined in the activity during their break time. After the production, additional members working inside joined the picket-protest. After the program we march and visited the nearby picket line of Nissan workers to support their struggle. Some motorist gave donations (P500.00), we were able to give contributions for transportation or some members.
March 22, 2002. We had a mass delegation to the Supreme Court by filing of our Petition letter to the Chief Justice to hasten the favor of the workers. The 2nd Division of the Supreme Court issued a resolution granting the petition for extension of Toyota management. The management have already filed their comment We are now waiting for the resolution.
On April 14, 2002 at around 12:00 a.m., we painted all the walls in many areas of Metro Manila and Southern Tagalog in Laguna, as part of our anniversary activities. Using pylox (spray paint) we painted different slogan: "Toyota are greedy", "Toyota Criminal" etc. Two days after, these was erased by Toyota management, using white paints. The management thought it was a preparation for another strike because a day after, numerous policemen are seen guarding Toyota plants. On April 15, 2002, during TMPCWA Anniversary ? the members inside the Plant are wearing Red ribbon with message: "Justice for TMPCWA" and asking the workers to support our struggle. There are many policemen outside the plant in Bicutan and Sta. Rosa they thought that we will have a protest action coinciding with our anniversary.
April 19, 2002. We conducted a picket-protest in Japanese Embassy to call their attention and to express the hardship of the workers dismissed by Toyota. About 42 union members attended the rally. Two of the members had their wives and children joined the activity. Police are asking if we have permit. We told them that we will not stay long and we are just asking the help of the embassy. We tried to give them our demand letter and the letter from Support Groups for TMPCWA but the embassy people refused to accept. We left the letters to the guards on duty and to the police. After the embassy, we march to Toyota Manila Bay one of the biggest dealer of Toyota. We made a picket action there and a short program.
April 25, 2002. Picket rally at the Department of Labor. 60 members attended. We also invited workers from one union and about 10 of them were present. We marched from Liwasang Bonifacio, about a kilometer from the Department of Labor building, on busy streets carrying our big banners. We distributed leaflets to motorists and other people on our way. Motorists blow their horns to show their sympathy to us. When we reached the Department of Labor, we bombarded them regarding our labor cases. Radio and T.V. reporters arrived and the T.V. crew interviewed one of us. The interview and part of the program of the rally was shown in the evening cable news (ANC channel of ABS-CBN). A Japanese journalist also went there to cover the rally.
Our May 1 rally will culminate these activities. We will send pictures after May 1. As of now, we are busy preparing for May Day celebration. After May 1, we will concentrate on a comprehensive evaluation, then afterwards planning for actions for the next remaining half year.
It will be a big help to our struggle if other worker's organization will continue sending their solidarity message for TMPCWA, and damning message for Toyota management.
We will let you know of our plan.
Thank you very much.
Ed G. Cubelo
|Protest Toyota Campaign Newsletter No.3
April 24, 2002
We would like to send you the Protest Toyota Newsletter No. 3. This newsletter is addressed to those who we believe are concerned about workers'struggle and TNC. We would appreciate you if you could forward the newsletter to other people concerned. Please send E-mail to the Protest Toyota Campaign(Protest-Toyota@jca.apc.org) in case you need not receiving it. Thank you very much.
More than a half year had passed since we sent you the last newsletter in September 2001. The Toyota Motor's persecution on the Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association (TMPCWA) has been raging and in fact had become worse since we last sent you the newsletter.
In response to the criminal complaint filed by the Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TMPC) against the 25 union members dismissed by the corporation, the Fiscals Office decided in March 2002 to prosecute them for grave coercion. The office alleged that those union members looked at the management of TMPC in a threatening manner and shouted invective words, when the management tried to enter the company's premises during the strike.
In spite of such a disadvantageous situation, TMPCWA has been continuing to fight for their justice, and its solidarity movement in Japan has been strengthened. We would like to inform our readers of the latest development of the TMPC labor dispute, after explaining about its brief background for new readers.
What is the TMPC's Labor Dispute ?
In 1998, TMPCWA registered itself at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) of the Philippines. Until they won in the certification election in March 2000, they faced a series of law suits almost for two years. After the successful election, TMPCWA was recognized by DOLE as an exclusive bargaining union representing rank-and-file workers, which provide them with a right to negotiate a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the management of TMPC. In reaction to the unfavorable result of the certification election, TMPC filed another complaint against the union, by consulting able lawyers. As a result, a hearing was held on 22 and 23 February 2001 by DOLE where some employees testified on behalf of the management. Taking the hearing as a critical stage of the struggle, TMPCWA mobilized 317 members in front of the DOLE building to bring their demands.
While DOLE announced its decision in favor of TMPCWA by dismissing the complaint filed by TMPC on 16 March, on the very same day TMPC dismissed most of the workers who joined the mobilization. Faced with the management's attitude that made no improvement, on 28 March, TMPCWA went on strike for repealing the dismissal. The strike staged by 700 workers, including 500 TMPCWA members, stopped the production of the two plants for two weeks, until DOLE Secretary intervened.
The labor dispute of TMPC has been more politicized. The management of TMPC, in collaboration with other Japanese transnational corporations that have plants in the Philippines, put a pressure on the President and other high officials of the government, by suggesting their intention to withdraw from the country unless the government arbitrates labor disputes for quick resolution in their favor.
Because of this pressure from the Japanese investors, the DOLE Secretary intervened in the labor dispute by ordering the striking workers to return to work. In the Philippines, Return To Work Orders by DOLE Secretary must be followed, otherwise workers are considered legally dismissed.
In the past year, the Philippine Government, succumbed to the pressure of Toyota, made unfavorable decisions for the union ,one after another. In August 2001, the National Labor Relations Commission, an agency attached to DOLE, ruled that a protesting activity by the union was illegal. Right after that decision, TMPC dismissed 233 employees, including all of the TMPCWA officers. In September, TMPC file three criminal cases against the members as mentioned in the beginning. In addition to the question over the legality of the certification election of the union, the TMPCWA has been facing another series of lawsuits.
In early January 2002, the management requested all the employees to vote for a ratification election, for the newly formed Labor Management Council (LMC), consisted of supervisory employees and rank-and-file workers. Opposing this move, TMPCWA organized a campaign to boycott the ratification, by distributing leaflets to the workers. This campaign was supported by one third of the total employees, judging from the result of the ratification. Anyway this Council was approved. It means that a pro-management union was virtually organized. The management continued to threaten the workers who boycotted the ratification and voted for No in the ratification.
In March, the Fiscals Office prosecuted the illegally dismissed union members in three cases. Supporters both in the Philippines and Japan have been trying to raise money for the bail of 25 members charged by the Fiscals Office in order to avoid their detention.
In spite of such hardship, TMPCWA is consistently protesting against the management of Toyota and the government. While many of the dismissed refused to receive the retirement pay even in their financial difficulties, members of the TMPCWA who still work in the plants continue their activities notwithstanding the harassment.
Labor Dispute beyond the Border
In response to the struggle of TMPCWA, the solidarity movement has been forged in Japan. In April 2001, Mr. Ed Cubelo, President of TMPCWA, visited Japan and joined the protest rally and the negotiation at the Headquarter of Toyota Motor Corporation in Tokyo, together with 150 supporters from different organizations in Japan. From July to August in 2001, a group of 13 Japanese workers and citizens visited the Philippines and staged protest actions in front of TMPC and Japanese Embassy in Manila, together with the members of TMPCWA. (Please see Newsletter No.2).
In October, Support Groups for TMPCWA was organized by Japanese workers and citizens. The group published pamphlets on this dispute and distributed 2000 copies.
Mr. Ed Cubelo and two other members of the union visited Japan again in November 2001. They participated in the protest rally held in front of the Tokyo Headquarter where 250 supporters joined. They also joined the rally in front of the Toyota Head Office, located in Toyota City, together with 50 supporters coming from different parts of Japan.
In taking strict precautions, the Toyota management deployed the employees and security guards all around the Head Office building and every corner of the streets within a radius of 200 meters from the office. While the Toyota management refused to meet TMPCWA earlier, they were compelled to accept the meeting facing anger of the workers from the Philippines and Japan. It's been 50 years since a protest action was made last against the Toyota Headquarters over the dismissal, and it's been 20 years since a protest rally was organized last within the premises of Toyota Head Office. A participant said that Japanese workers also have been empowered by this struggle.
The Toyota management and the supporters of TMPCWA met in Japan for four times already. However, Toyota officials have not shown any concrete answer to settle the dispute. Instead, they repeatedly answered that the matter in the Philippine should be settled there through the negotiations between TMPC and TMPCWA. However, it is quite obvious that no one has an authority to make a decision of TMPC's policy other than Toyota Head Office. Mr. Nobuharu Tabata, appointed to President of TMPC in February 2002, was the former Head of Asia Department of Toyota Motor Corporation (Head Office).
In Fiscal Year 2000 Toyota Motor Corporation reported 13,137,070 million yen (US$ 106,030 millions) as the net revenue, biggest sales among Japanese corporations, and 1,000,000 million yen ( 8,123 millions) as the net income, the highest in history. In fact Toyota is one of very few companies that have been maintaining brisk sales even in the recession. We know that such a huge profit generated as a result of massive human rights violations inflicted on workers in the Philippines, Japan and other parts of the world.
Protest Toyota Campaign : Support Groups for TMPCWA
Address : 3-6-901 Oppama Higashimachi, Yokosuka City, Kanagawa, Japan
E mail : Protest-Toyota@jca.apc.org
|Protest Toyota Campaign Newsletter No.2
October 22, 2001
Upon the request in January 2000 from TMPCWA(Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association) through YCW(Young Christian Workers), the concerned labor unions and NGOs in Japan commenced an international solidarity campaign to support the union struggling against attempts of the management to nullify the formation of the union. Although TMPCWA won its certification election and an arbitration was awarded by the GoP(Government of the Philippines) that TMPC(Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation) should start to negotiate a CBA(Collective Bargaining Agreement) with TMPCWA, the company continued to appeal against the decisions in favor of the union. It also filed a complaint against a protest of TMPCWA, which the company alleged was an illegal strike, and fired 227 employees on March 16, 2001. The Toyota management, together with other Japanese transnationals in the country, threatened the GoP(Government of Philippines) to withdraw from the country without a settlement of the labor dispute in favor of them. On August 9, in the course of the labor dispute being more politicized, the GoP awarded an arbitration that a protesting activity by the union was illegal. Toyota's Labor Management Council, which is in fact manipulated by the management, filed a criminal case against 26 workers, who were blamed for looking at them in a threatening manner and shouting invective words. These cases have driven TMPCWA to extremity.
The following sentence is quoted from the recent letter from TMPCWA." We already filed an appeal to a higher court, Court of Appeals, challenging the NLRC decision's "Illegal Strike". We are still facing the criminal case, Grave Coercion, charged by the Toyota management employees. The management also continues to harass through serving of illegal suspensions to some of our union members left inside the company which hinders the promotion status of the said deserving members to a higher level of payment. We are all aware that the struggle would take time and we will be needing your continuous support in any possible way you can."
The concerned Japanese labor unions and NGOs organized "Support Group of TMPCWA", and decided to do supporting activities, "Protest Toyota Campaign" including issuing its newsletter.
In this summer, a group of 13 members from different support organizations in Japan visited the Philippines to study the labor dispute and discuss expected supporting activities with the union. ‘Struggle of TMPCWA' is the group's study report based on interviews with TMPCWA and legal counsels and other materials.
Protest Toyota Campaign ( Support Group of TMPCWA ) Contact: c/o Union Yokosuka,Oppama Higashi-cho 3-63-901,Yokosuka-shi,Kanagawa-ken Tel/Fax 0468-69-1415 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Struggle of TMPCWA--A report based on the study by a Japanese group--
Protest Toyota Campaign
From registration to certification election: the first phase of lawsuit
The Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation(President Mr. Ken Fukuda), established in 1988, is the largest automaker in the Philippines with annual exports of US$50 million by a staff of about 1,500, including about 900 rank-and-file workers. The company has two plants in the suburbs of Manila, namely the Bicutan plant and the Sta. Rosa plant which produce its brands such as Carolla and Camry. In the past, the workers tried to organize themselves twice, but only failed to do so in either case due to the company's reactions to stifle up these attempts through lawsuits, intimidation and conciliation. Still, in 1997, the workers' aspiration to improve their labor conditions made another attempt to form TMPCWA as their trade union under the leadership of Mr. ED Cubelo.
On April 15, 1998, TMPCWA registered itself at the National Capital Region office of DOLE(Department of Labor and Employment) as an independent rank-and-file workers union without any upper organization. By the end of 1998, a series of complaints filed by the company led Mr. Cubelo and the "organizing group" for the union to take legal advice and the assistance for organizing from YCW. On June 25, 1999, thanks to the assistance of Atty.Cesar Maravilla, the legal counsel of YCW, an arbitration was awarded by DOLE that the company should have a certification election for TMPCWA. Though TMPC appealed against the decision made by DOLE to the Court of Appeals, the union again won the case there.
It took TMPCWA as long as two years to reach to the certification election since it had to face the lawsuit filed by TMPC stubbornly refusing the union building. The Labor Code provides that the establishment of a labor union requires its registration at a local office of DOLE, and that a labor union must be separately formed for rank-and-file workers and for supervisory employees, respectively. A rank-and-file workers union must be registered before holding an CE(certification election), only the majority victory of which renders it recognized as the exclusive bargaining agent for those workers, and thus allows it to have a right to negotiate a CBA(Collective Bargaining Agreement) with the management of the company concerned.
In a labor dispute, a first instance takes the form of an arbitration to be awarded by the government, specifically a local office of DOLE or NLRC(the National Labor Relations Commission) an agency attached to DOLE, depending on the nature of the dispute. Issues like registration, CE and CBA are handled by Med-Arbiters at local offices of DOLE, while violations against the Labor Code, including illegal strikes, unfair labor practices and wages, are done by NLRC. A complaint against an arbitration awarded by the Med-Arbiters can be filed to the Bureau of Labor Relations of DOLE headquaters, while that against arbitration awarded by NLRC to the Court of Appeals, and then to the Supreme Court.
From certification election to date: the second phase of lawsuit
The second phase of lawsuit continuing up to the present started when the unfavorable result of the certification election held on March 8, 2000 drew another complaint from the TMPC management. The open vote election resulted in 503 votes for and 440 votes against the certification of TMPCWA, that is, the union won the election in the majority. Aside from a total of 943 votes above, however, there were 105 votes of "challenged voters",
who are defined as those still at issue between the union and the management over whether they are included in the list of rank-and-file workers who have rights to vote, or not.
TMPCWA compromised with the management over the open vote on condition that votes of the challenged voters would not be counted, as the union was concerned that it would take longer to settle the issue and that leveling maneuvers by the management had been intensifying. TMPCWA was confident that those votes cannot be counted from a legal point of view, with a Supreme Court decision that the challenged voters should not be included in the list of rank-and-file workers. This decision was made in February, 1997 for the case between the TMPC management and TMPCLU(Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Labor Union), a predecessor of TMPCWA, admitting the claim of TMPC that rank-and-file workers are those with tasks categorized into label 1 through 4, and thus TMPCLU lost the case.
Nevertheless, TMPC filed a complaint to a local office of DOLE, claiming that the votes of challenged voters in the CE be counted. On May 12, 2000, based on that Supreme Court ruling, Med-Arbiter Lameyra issued an arbitration that the votes of challenged voters should not be counted, and the company should implement a CBA negotiation. Though the management appealed to the Bureau of Labor Relations of DOLE headquarters, the Undersecretary's arbitration issued on October 19, 2000 also supported for the Med-Arbiter's. The management further appealed against the Undersecretary's arbitration to the Secretary of DOLE.
227 workers fired, triggering a strike
In 2001, while the tension between Toyota management and TMPCWA has got intensified, the union has heard of different disquieting developments in favor of the management, which continues to reject consultation with the union and use dirty tricks to nullify it. Among others, it was alleged that the Secretary of DOLE Patricia Tomas had accepted the management's claim and would review the tasks of 105 challenged voters. There was even a rumor that the company did "under-the-table" agreement with the Labor Department.
To cope with these developments, TMPCWA has made greater efforts to defend itself by, for example, establishing the right to strike through "strike voting". The union foresaw that the most critical event for their struggle would be the coming hearings on February 22 and 23, 2001 to be held by DOLE, where the tasks of 22 employees presenting themselves as testimonies for the management would be examined. Thus, mass mobilization by TMPCWA brought 317 members of the union to the hearings. The union submitted, in advance, a formal letter that those workers would be absent for the two days, but would work later for additional two days to compensate for their absence. The company accepted it. Indeed, 317 workers were able to return to work on February 24.
It was on March 16 when the situation took a sudden turn. The Secretary of DOLE dismissed the complaint filed by the management and announced that further complaints would not be received any more. On the same day, TMPC dismissed 227 and suspended 70, out of 317 workers who attended the hearings, claiming that they absented themselves without due notice. Immediately, TMPCWA picketed both the Bicutan plant and the Sta. Rosa plant. No improvements through the pickets, however, led the union to go on strike for repealing the dismissal on March 28. Approximately 700 workers, including about 500 members of TMPCWA, joined the strike so the plants were forced to stop production completely for two weeks. In early April, the management filed a case to NLRC, claiming that the strike was illegal.
the GoP threatened by TMPC
The labor dispute of TMPC has been more politicized, as the Toyota management met with the GoP officials and threatened to withdraw from the country without an early settlement of its labor dispute.
On April 9, the NLRC issued an TRO(Temporary Restraining Order) to suspend the strike. Early in the next day, when the picket line was weakened, the management used police together with company-hired goons to get rid of the picket. On April 10, TMPC notified that it would resume production. On the same day, all mass media in the Philippines received information that 11 Japanese companies including TMPC threatened DOLE and DTI(Department of Trade and Industry) by suggesting that it would withdraw without a settlement of the labor dispute. On April 12, the Secretary of DOLE entered into conciliation by issuing its AJ(Assumption of Jurisdiction) order with an option for the management to let the dismissed workers to return back to work or not. Management rejected the return back to work but in stead issued payroll reinstatement term by April 16, when Easter would end.
On the morning of April 16, however, 227 dismissed workers were prohibited to enter the plants and were notified that the company would not reinstate them, but would pay them. TMPC announced that the strike cost the company about 120 million pesos. On the other hand, workers said that their monthly wages including benefits were 7000~8000 pesos (about 20,000 yen), but 60% of which (about 4000 pesos) was paid to the dismissed workers. The company monthly pays only one million pesos for 227 dismissed workers. The management pretended to make a compromise, but in reality bought time enough to employ about 300 substitutes and train them.
TMPC continued to pressure the GoP to settle the dispute in favor of them. It was reported in the newspapers that the top management of Toyota headquarters visited the Philippines and made senior officials of the GoP assure that such illegal strikes as to force a plant to stop its production would never take place. On August 6, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines reportedly organized a meeting between 200 representatives from Japanese multinationals and senior officials of the GoP, including Secretaries of DOLE, DTI and Department of Interior and Local Government, to request for improving investment environments such as labor issues, security and infrastructure, especially strengthening government arbitration to labor disputes.
The Japanese multinational companies worked together to pressure the GoP so successfully that it started to issue reactionary decisions which effectively revoked previous ones in favor of TMPCWA. On July 11, the TMPC secured an Injunction Order from the Court of Appeals which effectively prevented the enforcement of the final decision made by the Secretary of DOLE that certified TMPCWA as the exclusive bargaining agent. On August 9 (three days after the meeting of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines with senior officials), NLRC awarded an arbitration that a series of protests initiated by TMPCWA including those during February 22 and 23, May 23 and 28 were illegal. With these two decisions, the payroll reinstatement of 227 workers will be cut off, adding a further damage to the union. TMPCWA is filing a certiorari to the Supreme Court to block the earlier Injunction Order of the Court of Appeals. However, as it will take the union two to four years to struggle at the Supreme Court, the dismissed workers without payroll will have more difficulties in their struggle. Up-to-dated information says that the number of workers to be terminated by TMPC has increased from 227 to 233, including 15 TMPCWA officers. The management demanded each of them to retire with an offer of retirement allowance calculated on the basis of monthly salary and years in service. In addition, 26 union members were accused as criminals of glaring in a threatening manner and shouting invective words by Toyota's Labor Management Council, which is in fact manipulated by the management. Despite these difficulties, those de facto dismissed are determined not to receive the retirement allowance, and to continue their struggle against the management.
International solidarity required to fight back against Toyota
Labor unions and NGOs in Japan filed protests against both Toyota Motor Corporation Tokyo headquarter and TMPC, demanding for withdrawing the dismissal of 227. workers and starting a CBA negotiation with TMPCWA. On April 21, together with Mr. ED Cubelo, 150 workers from 25 organizations held a protest rally at Toyota headquarters in Tokyo, and had some negotiation with the company. On June 21, the labor unions and NGOs again went to Toyota Tokyo headquater to make a protest against the incident where union members were injured by guards of TMPC at the Bicutan plant on May 28. Toyota Tokyo headquarter did not sincerely respond to the protest, saying that the labor dispute should be settled between the both parties concerned in the Philippines, and the headquarters had no functions to handle it.
Who else other than the Toyota headquarters, however, could appoint one of its staff as the President of TMPC, and has pressured the GoP to settle the dispute in favor of the management by threatening to withdraw from the country? It is a common attitude of the multinational Toyota toward its workers not only in the Philippines, but also in US, Canada and Japan that the company never admits the formation of trade unions which are out of its control.
A group of 13 representatives from Japanese organizations visited the Philippines from July 30 to August 2, 2001. During their stay in the country, they joined the protest rallies of the TMPCWA members and their families at both TMPC and the Japanese embassy in Manila. TMPCWA members, most of whom are still young in their 20s', share a common idea that they want to acquire their labor rights due to their pride in works. Mr. ED Cubelo, the president of TMPCWA said that this struggle had developed from a very simple one that demanded for undoubted rights as workers, as Toyota was challenging them in collusion with the GoP, and that they wanted to make it an international issue so that they could struggle for workers as a whole. TMPCWA is preparing for filing a complaint to ILO. IMF has already started its investigation on this labor dispute. International solidarity among workers is effective in their struggles. The struggle of TMPCWA is also one of our struggles against multinational companies which in general have been getting more oppressive in course of the globalization of economy.
|Protest Toyota Campaign Newsletter No.1
June 17, 2001
Thank you for your support for our campaign for the Philippine Toyota workers.
1) The following is the summary of the background and update information we know so far:
In order to increase working conditions and promote workers' right, workers at Philippine Toyota formed TMPCWA (Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation Workers Association) and registered the union at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in September 1999. After the successful union certification election in March 2000, TMPCWA requested the company to negotiate over the collective bargain agreement (CBA). Instead of responding to the request, the company rejected to recognize the union and filed a complaint to the DOLE. Although DOLE decided that the TMPCWA was formed lawfully, the company continued to reject the negotiation. Furthermore, the company retrenched 227 workers who joined the protest action against the company and suspended another 73 workers on March 16th this year. TMPCWA began a strike on March 28th to protest this, bringing about a temporary interruption of the production.
The management of Philippine Toyota put pressure on the Philippine Government to calm down the dispute. President Arroyo and her government heard from both the management and the union, sent the Secretary of DOLE to the workers' picket line to discuss with workers on April 7th, and ordered that the union should stop the strike and the management should reinstate the retrenched/suspended workers. Although the management accepted the reinstatement of the suspended workers and began to pay back the wages for the retrenched workers, they refused to allow the 227 retrenched workers to go back to their job (they are even refused to enter the premise of the company).
2) Solidarity action in Japan
In Japan, trade unions and workers' groups including the Kanto Regional Council of the Japan All Shipbuilding and Engineering Union, Japan Auto-Workers' Network(JAWN), and APWSL Japan sent a letter of protest to President of Toyota Company in Japan. We also sent letters to IMF, IMF-JC, Toyota Union, Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers' Unions (JAW) and other organization to request fortheir support. At the same time we called on trade unions and workers' groups in our country as well as in other countries to send protest letters to Toyota Company.
Mr. Ed Quberro, President of TMPCWA, arrived here on April 19th to attend a seminar on "Globalization in Auto-Industry and Workers in Asia" sponsored by APWSL Japan and JAWN as well as to join the protest action at the headquarter of Toyota Company in Tokyo. During his stay in Japan, Ed met member of Houses of Japan, had a press conference. On April 23, he and other people in support of the workers met the spokesperson of Toyota Company and discussed for one and a half hours in the headquarter (Kanto Regional Council of the Japan All Shipbuilding and Engineering Union arranged the meeting) while 150 workers from 25 groups held a protest rally outside the building. The attitude of the management of Toyota Company was utterly irresponsible. They said there was no department or section to handle this matter and they are not following the situation. They tried to avoid the responsibility by saying that this matter should be solved locally between management and workers in Philippines.
3) For Further Actions of Solidarity!
The following sentence is quoted from the recent letter from TMPCWA. "As for our update regarding the union,on May 28 we staged a peaceful picket protest simultaneously in front of Toyota Bicutan and Sta.Rosa plant campaigning the physical return-to-work of the 227 payroll reinstated union members and to start CBA negotation.Unfortunately, both pickets were forcefully dispersed by the management through security guards and police officers. The second dispersal attact at Bicutan plant around 2:15 PM was almost bloody resulting ten union members to suffer injuries. We were beaten by Toyota security guards using hard wooden sticks similar to wooden planks and fired gun shots on the air. One member was badly beaten on his head and suffered multiple hits on his body requiring minor operation and further observation of the body from the injuries got. We were planning to file a complaint regarding this incident to International Labor Organization (ILO)."
According to the latest news, Toyota Company reported the highest profit in its history of nearly 1 trillion yen or approx. $75 billion in the fiscal year 2000 (ended on March 31st). Nissan Motor Company, headed by Carlos Chosn who came from Renault, also marked a profit of 330 billion yen after many years of losses. These huge amounts of profits were realized through ruthless "restructuring" including closure of a series of factories all over the country and reducing the number of contractors.
We have to notice that while the world biggest MNCs is renewing the record of their profits, workers all over the world are suffering and being faced with harsh repression. We need to fight back with the spirit of international solidarity. We want you to continue your support for workers at Philippine Toyota.
Protest Toyota Campaign ZEN-ZOSEN(Kanto Regional Council of the Japan All Shipbuilding and Engineering Union) Email:email@example.com
*ZEN-ZOSEN(Kanto Regional Council of the Japan All Shipbuilding and Engineering Union) was formed in 1979 and has organized not only shipbuilding workers but also different industry workers including automobile,electrical and undocumented foreign workes.