Nexperia workers decry mass ‘lay-offs’, claim union-busting
March 25, 2024

Nexperia workers stage a protest action against the impending lay-offs, March 22, 2024 in Cabuyao, Laguna. (Photo by Justin Umali/Bulatlat)

By JUSTN UMALI
Bulatlat.com

SANTA CRUZ, Laguna – Hundreds of workers from Dutch semiconductor company Nexperia Philippines protested an impending “temporary layoff” of 54 workers outside their plant in Cabuyao City, Laguna, March 22.

At least 300 Nexperia workers staged a protest outside the Light and Science Industry Park in Barangay Pulo, Cabuyao, where the Nexperia factory is located. The workers were joined by other unions in Laguna, as well as multisectoral organizations and alliances.

“What [the Nexperia] management is doing is truly insidious,” said Nexperia Workers Philippines Inc. Workers Union (NPIWU-NAFLU-KMU) nion president Mary Ann Castillo. “On April 1, fifty-four families will go hungry. How can they survive for six months?”

According to the union, management informed them last March 4 of a two-week shutdown allegedly due to the low volume of production, followed by a temporary lay-off of 54 workers in April, and 72 more workers in September.

“While the company reaps profits, our livelihoods and our families’ dreams are being killed,” the union said in a statement.

National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU-KMU) Secretary General Tony Pascual said that Nexperia is “violating the security of tenure of its workers.”

“Not only that, but Nexperia is violating the workers’ right to life by taking away their livelihoods,” he added.

A case of union busting

NPIWU-NAFLU-KMU is calling the retrenchment a “case of union-busting” as the lay-offs are set to begin while Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations are underway. Labor rights organization Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) also described Nexperia Philippines’ actions as “undermining CBA negotiations” which “negatively impacts on workers’ rights to just and favorable conditions of work.”

Read:  Reaping the benefits of unionism, the Nexperia Philippines workers’ experience

According to the group, workers would find it difficult to assert higher wages because the union is weakened by retrenchment policies.

The union also pointed out that the retrenchment is in violation of previous CBA rules, which state that the company must follow a “first-in-last-out” provision in cases of retrenchment. Instead, Nexperia is using a “performance-based criteria” in selecting who among the workers are to be laid off, which the union claims “is being used to deliberately target union members.” All the 54 workers to be retrenched are union members.

This would not be the first time Nexperia Philippines used retrenchments to assail union members. Last September 2023, when CBA negotiations were about to begin, eight workers, including three union officers, were laid off and given mandatory separation.

Nexperia management claimed that the retrenchment was due to the closure of the company’s Sensors department, which necessitated lay-offs. At least 495 workers in total were affected by the department’s sudden closure. NPIWU-NAFLU-KMU, however, has asserted that Nexperia should absorb the retrenched workers to the company’s Power department.

Nexperia has announced plans to pull out from the Philippines as early as 2016 when it began selling some of its assets in the country. According to the company’s factsheet, Nexperia reported a revenue of USD 2.1 billion last 2022, with a production output of 100 billion units that year.

The union additionally pointed out that Nexperia recently acquired Dutch semiconductor company Nowi last November 2023, which it says is proof that the company “is hardly losing money.”

Nexperia is a Dutch-based semiconductor company with over 14,000 workers worldwide. The company began as a part of Dutch conglomerate Philips’ semiconductor division before becoming an independent company in 2006 as NXP Semiconductors. In 2016, NXP Semiconductors divested its Standard Products division, leading to Nexperia being a subsidiary of Chinese semiconductor company Wingtech Technology. (RVO)

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