Celebrating the centenary

of the International Women's Day in Negros


Manila     Baguio      Calamba    Davao     Negros     Hong Kong



March 8, 2010




Photos courtesy of Gabriela - Negros


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 agreement.

“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,” Rogelio said.

“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.



RP poverty has a woman’s face – KMU

In time for the celebration of the 100th International Women’s Day and in the face of a presidential adviser’s admission that poverty in the country has worsened in the past nine years, Kilusang Mayo Uno–Women’s Department today said poverty has a woman’s face, that poverty impacts on poor Filipinas as a group in our society.

It has been 100 years since German left-wing leader Clara Zetkin proposed to the 1910 International Conference of Socialist Working Women that an international women’s day be organized to celebrate advances in working conditions that American women have achieved in their struggles.

Meanwhile, presidential adviser on economic affairs and Albay governor Joey Salceda made headlines today in admitting poverty has increased under Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s stay in office. He also said that the wealthy families in the country became even wealthier within the same period.

“It is worth reminding us on this day that poverty in the country has a woman’s face. When Joey Salceda talks about population increase as a factor that contributes to the country’s poverty, he invokes poor women who face the daily and hourly problem of feeding and sustaining children, who lack employment opportunities, and who are denied access to information about reproductive health and access to decent health services ,” said Nenita “Nitz” Gonzaga, KMU vice-president for women.

Gonzaga cited statistics from a survey conducted by research group Center for Women’s Resources that show how poor women are bearing the brunt of increasing poverty in the country. Almost 78% of the poor women surveyed said they take on additional jobs to augment the family’s decreasing income, while 47% said their family’s meals are the most affected by cost-cutting measures.

“Poor and working-class Pinays are under enormous and increasing pressure in the context of the country’s worsening poverty. They are taking on more tasks in feeding and sustaining their children and family, while being maintained as subordinate in value to Filipino men,” said Gonzaga.

“The plight of poor Pinays highlights the urgent necessity of persevering in the struggle for genuine social change – a struggle that enjoins their active participation as makers of history, and does not simply promise them the fruits of the struggle or regard them as mere cheerleaders in the making of history,” added Gonzaga.

“They are as such important participants in the struggle to smash the main enemies of Filipinos and Filipinas, which are also the main causes of the country’s poverty – US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism,” Gonzaga concluded.

Songs and campaign jingles
■    Satur Ocampo - Liza Maza Campaign Jingle ■    Satur Ocampo Jingle ■    Liza Maza Jingle
■    JIngle in Cebuano ■    Jingle in Ilongo ■    JIngle in Tagalog
■    Sasaturn na tayo