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Fishing for bigger profits: Norwegian firm accused of pulling a fast one on its workers

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fishing for bigger profits: Norwegian firm accused of pulling a fast one on its workers

 “What is happening in Mustad is a textbook case of illegal closure…of capitalists drastically undertaking illegal and anti-worker measures because they are confident the Aquino government won’t lift a finger to harm them,” said Leandro “Ka Doods” Gerodias, KMU deputy secretary-general and president of the Alliance of Democratic Labor Organizations (ADLO).
By MARYA SALAMAT
Bulatlat.com
MANILA – After 23 years of profitable operations in the Philippines, Norwegian firm Mustad, maker of “the best-selling hook-brand in the planet,” moved out some of its equipment from its factory in Quezon City on May 17. On May 24, it broke the news to its 200 workers that they were being terminated because the factory was shutting down operations. Mustad reportedly cited losses but the workers are disputing it.

“What is happening in Mustad is a textbook case of illegal closure. It is also a textbook case of capitalists drastically undertaking illegal and anti-worker measures because they are confident that the Aquino government won’t lift a finger to harm them,” said Leandro “Ka Doods” Gerodias, KMU deputy secretary-general and president of the Alliance of Democratic Labor Organizations (ADLO).

One of the three unions of workers in Mustad is an affiliate of ADLO-KMU.


(Contributed photo / bulatlat.com)
The said textbook case has also been commonly referred to as “runaway shop,” where a profitable company shuts down operations in one location only to reopen or continue operations in another location, with new, lower-paid and non-unionized employees.

Shutting down factories with unionized workforce has been a “common tactic used by capitalists in order to save on costs,” said Armand Hernando, documentation coordinator of non-government Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR). In documenting numerous similar cases, CTUHR found that “most companies that claim to have gone bankrupt actually just cease operations for a while and reopen with a new set of employees that are contractual and non-unionized. This definitely cuts costs and brings greater profits for the company.”

Mustad Terminal Tackle Philippines is a subsidiary of Mustad Norway that produces fishing hooks, rigs, flies among other metal fishing equipment for export. Prior to the sudden shutdown, most of its workers reportedly suffer from various degrees of heavy metal poisoning, as handling toxic chemicals was routine in their job..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/05/27/fishing-for-bigger-profits-norwegian-firm-accused-of-pulling-a-fast-one-on-its-workers/

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