FilAm activists protest Apple over alleged unjust firing of Filipino workers

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Sept. 15, 2014

LOS ANGELES – While the world awaits the release of the iPhone 6, some communities are warning that the much anticipated gadget has an “ethical glitch”, as two dozen Philippine workers were believed to have been unjustly fired from one of the tech giant’s suppliers.

“Apple can’t make its products run without the work of Philippine workers at NXP,” said Kuusela Hilo of International League of People’s Struggles.

Dutch based NXP, which supplies parts for Apple, fired 24 union leaders at one of its plants in the Philippines as they were beginning contract negotiations last May.

U.S. based unions, human rights activists, and Filipino-Americans are calling on Apple to make sure the workers are rehired and negotiations continue.

Channelle Yang of the United Students Against Sweatshops said, “One of their factories fired Filipino workers when they were trying to organize and demand for just conditions and this is a huge problem. Union busting is illegal here in the United States and should be illegal in the Philippines as well.”

“Apple is the one that contracts those third party suppliers and Apple has all the power to do that,” said United Steel Workers district 12 director Boba La Venture.

The iPhone 6, which is believed to have semiconductors produced by NDX, launches this week. There is no call yet for a boycott but a petition already with 150,000 signatures calling for the reinstatement has been circulating.

“We’re calling on Apple to do the right thing with workers around the world, especially in the Philippines,” continued La Venture, “They wanted to voice their democratic right to have a union, and Apple is squashing their opportunity to do that.”

The Philippines Department of Labor and Employment is also reportedly looking into the firings at NXP, as protest actions have also taken place against another NXP client, Samsung.

Contact Steve Angeles on twitter: @StevieAngeles

2 Comments on this post.

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  • kikay Pang0
    15 September 2014 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Nice …. Move the operation to China you won’t hear those Chinese worker complaining and they’re punctual.

    • cat_idiot
      15 September 2014 at 5:06 pm - Reply

      “Si, se puede”