Tag Archives: Philippines

2.3 million Filipino women render unpaid work, prone to abuse – think tank

Despite current notions of female empowerment in workplaces, Filipino women workers still suffer from lower wages and lower quality jobs than their male counterparts, according to labor think-tank Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER).

EILER said that based on the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics’ 2011 Gender Statistics on Labor and Employment, women bear the brunt of the highly backward domestic economy as they are concentrated on volatile and informal jobs with low or no wages at all.

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Capital Mobility in the Philippine Automotive Industry and its Impact on Workers

Capital Mobility Research Paper Series No 2

By Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research, Inc. (EILER)



The Philippine automotive industry has many links to the global auto assembly and auto parts industry, but for the most part it has been unable to benefit from trade and investment liberalization measures, aimed at developing the industry over the past 60 years. At the same time, as a player at the lower end of the parts supply chain, the industry has often borne the brunt of negative trends in the global industry. The major manufacturers (OEMs) in the global auto industry, after years of unresolved overcapacity problems and heavy debt levels, were particularly vulnerable to the sharp downturn in the global economy in2008-2009. Adding to these problems were a contraction in market demand and rising costs derived from higher energy and raw materials prices, pressures to address climate change issues, and consumer demand for the personalization of motor vehicles. These problems were passed on to the subsidiaries of the OEMs and their parts suppliers, along with an intensification of the trend to transfer more responsibility for R&D and its attendant costs onto the balance sheets of the partners and parts suppliers. Additionally, the Philippine industry, whose only significant comparative advantage among ASEAN producers had been its low labour cost, was made more vulnerable to trends in the international economy by the adoption of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) and other trade liberalization pacts.

Despite attempts to put place protectionist measures for the automobile industry, the local industry remained weak and underdeveloped, mainly due to limited domestic demand (slow growth in per capita incomes) which resulted in a diseconomy of scale among local producers. While local demand growth remained low, there was little impetus for sizeable domestic investment in the technology and supporting industries needed to make it competitive both at home and abroad. A total of 124 auto firms (both local and foreign) were surveyed and classified based on their supply chain role and ownership. Included in the sample were 14 subsidiaries of Asian auto giants, including Toyota Motor Philippines, Honda Cars Philippines, Mitsubishi Motor Philippines and Isuzu Philippines. There are also companies that only distribute CBUs (completely built-up), assembled outside the country, namely South Korean firm Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. and Chinese company Kama Trucks. Purposive sampling was used based on official list of automobile firms from government agencies and major industry groups and chambers.

Based on the findings, the local automobile industry carry out low technological production processes and produce low value-added complimentary auto parts. Component specialists and integrators comprise the majority of all the auto firms sampled, with products and services ranging from stamping and, molding to the manufacture of, transmissions, car seats, car seat reclining adjusters, mufflers, brake discs, water pumps, carpets, molded rubber parts and other non-core automotive parts. The nature of underdeveloped production in the automobile industry is defined by foreign investments flowing into the country, which in most cases did not result to technology transfer. Manufacturing activities of existing Asian TNCs in the country have barely expanded while importation of CBUs continues to surge, especially with importation of Chinese automobiles. There had been no new investments to the automobile industry during the past decade, save for the foreign investments on motorcycle production. Should the trend continue, Filipino workers are bound for mass retrenchment and worse flexible labour schemes as companies downsize operations. The final section of the report details a number of recent labour issues, including union busting action and serious health and safety issues in two companies, Toyoto Motor Philippines and domestically owned F-Tech Philippines, which produces parts for Honda and other auto firms.


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ATNC Joint Day of Action – Hong Kong protest at Korean and Philippines Consulates

Today in Hong Kong we conducted the ATNC Joint Day of Action against trade union repression in Asia – focusing on the South Korean Consulate and the Philippines Consulate.

In the South Korean Consulate where we went first, the Consulate office was shut down, security gate pulled down…but Consul-General Jun came out to listen to us. We spoke about the shame of an ILO and OECD member so systematic robbing workers of trade union rights, including stopping workers from forming unions, regarding press conferences as illegal, mass arrests and disciplinary measures against legitimate unions and strikes, such as by the Korean Teachers Union.

We condemned Samsung Corporation as one of the worst, with its ‘no-union policy’. We demanded justice and compensation for the victims of Samsung semiconductor factories who died or are ill from working at Samsung. We demanded justice for the dead leukemia victims like Hwang Yu-mi, who died at the young age of only 22 years, after working at Samsung just two years, cleaning wafers at Samsung Semiconductor.

SEE HERE FOR VIDEO “Workers in Samsung” (ENGLISH/CHINESE) –http://dotsub.com/view/user/workersinsamsun

We also condemned the Korean government for its inhumane crackdown on migrant workers in Korea. Furthermore the Korean Consulate in Hong Kong also shows disregard for migrant rights in Hong Kong – when Hong Kong people travel to Korea with their domestic workers, the Korean Consulate sends them a LETTER which says that it is ‘strongly recommended’ to HOLD the passport of the domestic worker to prevent becoming an undocumented migrant worker in Korea. This is illegal in Hong Kong yet the Korean Consulate itself issues letters to advise people to do so.

Consul-General Jun listened to us from the beginning and received our letter and said he would convey our message to his government and try to protect workers’ rights including migrant rights.

At the Philippines Consulate, we received a much less diplomatic reception. Through the police escort, the Consulate repeatedly tried to make us meet their representative at a location far from the Consulate.

Finally we went up but the Philippine Consulate was also shut down – door closed, security gates pulled down. We were told the Consul General Claro Cristobal was not present then, and nobody would come to receive our letter if we stayed. However we stayed to let all those who were there, about the extrajudicial killings, the use of ‘assumption of jurisidiction’ to justify use of police and military against workers simply trying to defend their rights or to strike….We expressed our strong solidarity with the workers of Nestle and Toyota, who have been striking so many years to demand their legal rights to collective bargaining and recognition – our sorrow for the two dead union leaders of Nestle who had been killed and our outrage.

Dolores Balladares of Asian Migrant Coordinating Body also spoke in Tagalog to the Filiipina migrant workers present, expressing that we all were assembled to show solidarity with Filipino workers, and that the Phlippines government was doing nothing while workers of Nestle and Toyota and many other workplaces are being threatened, beaten and even killed. She further condemned the Consulate for closing down and stopping services to migrant Filipina workers, simply to stop us from having our chance to raise our legitimate grievances!

Finally one staff came and collected our letter to pass to the Consul-General.

The groups who joined included: Asia Monitor Resource Centre, HK Confederation of Trade Unions, Globalization Monitor, Asian Migrant Coordinating Body, International League of People’s Struggles, Asian Students Assocation, Asian Human Rights Commission, Interfaith Coooperation Forum, and Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants. About 25 of us were there…

SEE THE PHOTOS HERE:http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/lenifish/ATNCJointDayOfActionMarch222010?feat=directlink

THANKS to everyone…. and we hope this is the beginning of further solidarity and cooperation among all concerned groups and individuals until workers in Asia are free to unite for their share in decision-making in the economy and workplace, without being repressed and attacked!


Solidarity to workers in South Korea! To those struggling against union-busting Samsung!
Solidarity to workers in Philippines! To the persevering workers at Nestle, Toyota and many other workplaces!
Solidarity to all workers in Asia – we will keep building up our voices and our strength!