Women workers protest inhumane rules, denial
of benefits in denture factory
7 March 2010
Reference Person: Maria Lourdes Rogelio, SMZPI
Contact information: 0927-564-1039
‘Use of obscene language, loitering’ enough basis for dismissal
A women-dominated union in a German-owned denture factory is decrying the
company’s inhumane rules and regulations which penalizes “use of obscene
languange,” “loitering” and “concealment of contagious disease” via
dismissal of workers.
Samahan ng Manggagawa sa Zahnfabrik Philippines Inc (SMZPI), affiliated to
KMU’s Alliance of Nationalist and Genuine Labor Organizations (ANGLO-KMU)
said Zahnfabrik Phils. in Taguig is using the stiff company rules to
intimidate workers against asserting their bargaining rights. The new
rules were issued at the height of the union’s fight for the
implementation of their benefits as stated in their collective bargaining
“We feel that we are being choked by the company rules. Under the revised
Company Rules and Regulations, we risk being dismissed if we utter
‘obscene language’ or if we are concealing contagious disease.’ Even
‘unauthorized possession of alcoholic beverages’ is deemed punishable via
dismissal,” said Maria Lourdes Rogelio, president of SMZPI.
“The company rules do not even cite provisions from the Labor Code as
justification for its brutal penalties. Worse, it is the company’s
prerogative to tell if the enumerated offenses were really committed by
workers, since offenses are vaguely stated.”
“But we all know that the draconian rules are part of Zahnfabrik’s Phils.
cheap intimidation tactic to suppress our clamor for respect of labor
rights and for the granting of our benefits,” she added.
In December 2007, the union filed a letter of intent to negotiate for the
two-year extension of their collective bargaining agreement. Since then,
the company has dodged the extension of the existing CBA, which warrants
holiday pay, medical benefits, among others.
“Zahnfabrik refuses to extend the CBA because it wants to cut workers’
benefits in the name of amassing bigger company profits. Along with the
issuance of more inhumane company rules, it has also imposed a stricter
quota which warrants forced resignation of workers upon non-compliance,”
“All these tactics are meant to scare us from pursuing our legitimate
fight for our labor rights. We want to prove the company wrong: We are
actually prompted by such inhumane rules to elevate our fight for job
security and implementation of benefits into higher forms of collective
action,” she added.
SMZPI has already filed a complaint on gross violations of the CBA
provisions before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).
“We will pressure the NLRC and the Department of Labor to act on our case
immediately. We will expose this injustice to the world and coordinate
with workers of Zahnfabrik in other countries,” she added.
SMZPI will take part in the rally commemorating the centennial of the
International Women’s Day on Monday.
Zahnfabrik Philippines Inc. is subsidiary of German-based Zahnfabrik Bad
Nauheim GmbH & Co. Luxor KG, which is known for transfer-pricing schemes
to make it appear that subsidiaries are not earning much.