Dong-In puts 250 contract workers on "forced leave"

This article is available in Pilipino

Three production lines were shut down at the Dong-In factory in the Freeport Area of Bataan in Mariveles, Bataan after an estimated 250 workers were placed on “forced leave” due to what the company says is a lack of product orders. Workers will be out of work starting June until possibly August. “Forced leave” is the capitalists’ scheme to illegal mass layoffs.

The Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Freeport Area of Bataan (NMFAB) condemned the company in subjecting hundreds of workers to this oppressive scheme. The group said this “puts workers on the brink of poverty and unemployment.”

It said workers are forced into looking for new jobs after weeks to months of not working. Consequently, they will lose their years of service that guarantee their regular status and associated labor rights. They will also lose their retirement and separation pay.

This has been the experience of a Dong-In worker who recently resigned after being put on “forced leave” for one and a half months in March. “He left his beloved job despite sacrificing his seven years of service in the factory, afraid of going through the same ordeal again and going deep into debt,” NMFAB said.

Capitalists usually impose “forced leave” after a few months of production overdrive and very high quotas. In subsequent months, it will claim that the factory will be cutting production due to poor sales or since quota for the entire year has been reached.

In the experience of workers at the Dong-In bag factory, their previously high quota of 400 bags per eight hours was raised to 1,000. The workers found this arrangement too hard. “When they slowed down, line leaders and supervisors figuratively whip them just to meet the quota. One worker said if they are already struggling with 400, how much more with 1,000?” the NMFAB said.

NMFAB called on Dong-In workers to unite to stop the company’s ploy. The group asserted that workers have to right to job security. “We know that it is an injustice for us to just be thrown away like rags after being worked like slaves. The unity of the workers is key to oppose the company’s ploy,” it said.

It said that forming a union within the factory is a challenge for Dong-In workers. “Wages, contractualization and humane working conditions are also big problems facing workers. When workers are united, it is easy to overcome any legal measures such as labor inspection, time and motion study, and other rights that will be subject to a collective bargaining agreement,” the workers said.

Dong-In Entech Korea has nine companies in the Philippines. It manufactures bags and tents for export worldwide.

AB: Dong-In puts 250 contract workers on "forced leave"