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Japanese electronics firm shuts down; 100 lose jobs

/ 12:00 AM August 17, 2016

SAN PEDRO CITY—At least 100 workers lost their jobs after a Japanese-owned electronics company shut down its plant in Cabuyao City in Laguna province.

Claiming losses, Minami Machineries and Electronics Technologies (MMET) closed its factory inside Light Industry and Science Park in Cabuyao City over a week after it announced its decision. The company manufactures printed circuit boards used as parts of electronic gadgets.

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Union officers, however, condemned the closure as “illegal” since their members were not issued a one-month notice before termination. On Tuesday, the union filed a case of illegal closure and illegal dismissal against MMET.

Most MMET workers were female production operators hired as regular employees a decade ago. They received an average of P315 in daily wage.

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“On that same day (Aug. 8), after the general assembly, we were told not to come back to work anymore,” Ma. Cristina Alomia, vice president of MMET Workers’ Union, said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

A company is required to issue a month’s notice should it decide to shut down operations, said Zenaida Campita, regional director of the Department of Labor and Employment. It should also submit financial statements, among other requirements, to determine if the closure is “valid.”

The Inquirer tried calling the company’s phone numbers listed on its website on Tuesday. None were working.

Alomia said the company promised to pay them half of their monthly salaries for every year of service.

Before the shutdown, the workers were asked to report only “twice or thrice” a week, she said. This started when the union and management started negotiating a collective bargaining agreement in 2015, she added.

The talks reached a deadlock, prompting the union to file a notice of strike on July 19.

“On Aug. 5, we received a text message [from the company] advising us not to come to work anymore, but instead to report [on Aug.8]. We wondered why because we knew there were [pending] orders from clients,” Alomia said.

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Union officials have also demanded the payment of vacation and sick leaves over the years. MMET should remit the government-mandated benefits deducted from workers’ salaries from December 2015 to May this year, they said.

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TAGS: Company, Electronics, Employment, Japan, Japanese, Jobs, Minami Machineries and Electronics Technologies
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