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4 Jan 2021

Partido Manggagawa

Labour group welcomes J.Crew's commitment to freedom of association at First Glory but calls on J.Crew to push for reinstatement of workers & end to union interference by factory management

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"Rejoinder to J. Crew re Labor Dispute at First Glory", 22 December 2020

We welcome the commitment of J. Crew for freedom of association in its suppliers and its action in this regard at the factory First Glory Philippines. We appreciate the initial steps taken by J. Crew though we wish to highlight additional facts and the request for further action.

...The majority of the 300 workers fired were union members, including all of the union officers and the union president. This means that despite First Glory’s declaration that it will respect that process of the certification elections, it had already subverted freedom of association by firing the entire union leadership.

... [W]e have documentary proof of management interference in the workers’ exercise of freedom of association. In the December 1, 2020 hearing... on the union’s petition for certification election, Mr. Michael Negad, production manager, presented himself as an employee representative and declared that First Glory employees do not want a union... [which] is is in blatant violation of Philippine labor laws which prohibit managerial personnel from interfering in the workers’ right to unionize.

...First Glory management could not substantiate its claim of losses due to lost orders, thus the union’s allegation of bad faith by the company... J. Crew already exited bankruptcy in September... at the time of the mass dismissals, production was in full swing and workers were being asked to report even on holidays and Sundays.

In view of the hardline position of First Glory that it will not reinstate the workers... the union filed a notice of strike last week.

We thus ask J. Crew to exert moral suasion on its supplier First Glory to resolve the dispute by reinstating the 300 workers who were fired, including the union leadership and the union president Cristito Pangan. This is an imperative especially in the light of the fact that First Glory insists that J. Crew’s bankruptcy led to the mass layoff...