Layoffs at electronics firm show signs of labor rights violations

March 19, 2024

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) expresses its concern over the layoffs of workers at Laguna-based electronics company Nexperia Philippines Incorporated (former NXP and Philips Semiconductors) in relation to ongoing negotiations for a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

We fear that Nexperia is violating many labor rights even as it continues to gain huge profits. We hope that the electronics company will soon reinstate the retrenched workers, negotiate with the workers’ union in earnest, and respect and not violate workers’ rights in the course of advancing its business.

Current CBA negotiations in Nexperia, which started in September 2023, saw the retrechment of eight (8) workers in September, among whom three (3) are union officials who have not yet been reinstated. The electronics company is said to be planning the “temporary layoff” of 53 workers in April and 72 workers in September.

We are concerned that these retrenchments violates the retrenched workers’ right to security of tenure, and are aimed at infringing on Nexperia workers’ right to collectively bargain. Undermining CBA negotiations negatively impacts on workers’ rights to just and favorable conditions of work. This happens when, for example, workers’ capacity to assert higher wages are reduced because the union is weakened during CBA negotiations.

While the Nexperia management has not given an explanation for the previous and planned retrenchments, it is clear that the company is not facing losses. The Netherlands-based company, which employs 15,000 employees in Europe, Asia and the US, and which ships 100 billion products annually, has just acquired Netherlands-based startup company Nowi. Nexperia creates basic semiconductors or chips and Nowi creates chips that replaces batteries for consumer applications.

Nexperia’s predecessors had records of retrenching regular and unionized workers during CBA negotiations. In 2014, NXP Semiconductors retrenched 24 union officials and members in the course of CBA negotations, and was forced to reinstate 12 among them only after intense protests from NXP workers and warm solidarity extended by unions, workers’ organizations, and people’s organizations.

CTUHR supports the Nexperia workers and their union, the Nexperia Philippines Incorporated Workers Union-NAFLU-KMU, in their struggle for better working conditions and against management actions that undermine this struggle.