Case story

  • Japan

OECD NCP Japan - Protest Toyota Campaign vs. Toyota

Philippines, 2004

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Story

The complaint alleges that Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation (TCMP) refuses to recognize the existence of the TMPCWA, an independent trade union. The complaint states the company is actively trying to hinder the right to association and collective bargaining. According to the complaint, 223 unionists were fired illegally.

The complaint further alleges that TCMP refused to organise Certification Elections (CE) as stipulated by law. When CE were eventually held in March 2000, TCMP challenged the result (which was favourable to TMPCWA), refused to open negotiations, and launched various administrative appeals against TMPCWA.

Under pressure from Toyota, the Philippine government remained passive and procrastinated. To protest against the dismissals and support their colleagues deprived of an income, the workers organized a picket line outside the two Toyota production sites.

Toyota sought intervention by the police who, with private vigilantes, violently dispersed the protestors. In the following days, the Labour Ministry ordered the workers back to work. The National Labour Relations Commission then endorsed the unfair dismissals by declaring the February 2001 gatherings illegal. Management took advantage of this to sue 23 union leaders, accusing them of manhandling workers who wanted to end the strike.

Outcome

In September 2004, the Japanese NCP announced “the matter is still under examination, and the initial assessment has not yet come to an end. We are of the opinion that the case of TMPCWA is still at bar at Court of Appeals.” In February 2005, the Protest Toyota Campaign met with the NCP, which maintained that it will not take any action or work toward resolution in Japan until the court case in the Philippines is finalized. The Japanese NCP appeared to have changed its attitude after it was criticised in OECD meetings and by an International Solidarity Campaign initiated by IMF in 2006, but in 2007 it returned to its previous position that the matter is still at the stage of the initial assessment. TMPCWA and Support Group have met with Toyota regularly every year outside the NCP forum at Toyota headquarters in Tokyo and Toyota City, but there has been no movement on the issues. The complainants consider the case “blocked” by the Japanese NCP.

References

OECD Watch case story page: http://oecdwatch.org/cases/Case_57

Contributor(s): This article was modified by Nicolaclayre (3), Kyle (2), and 65.96.169.178 (1).