More than 4,000 workers in MEZ to face retrenchment

THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) 7 and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) have come up with ways to help workers displaced by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

A total of 4,400 workers at the Global Wear Manufacturing, Metro Wear Inc., Feeder Apparel Corp., Vertex One Apparel Philippines Inc. and Mactan Apparels Inc. in the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) in Lapu-Lapu City will lose their jobs as demand in the global garment market has slowed down since the start of the health crisis.

“As part of our joint intervention with the local government of Lapu-Lapu through the Public Employment Service Office (Peso), we will be referring the affected workers to them for profiling. Profiled workers will be referred to companies based in the city that have positions or jobs available. For workers who want to gain training experience, they will be referred to the training center of Lapu-Lapu City through Tesda, where another coordination meeting has also been started,” Dole 7 Director Salome Siaton said in a press release.

In their report to Dole 7, the companies said there was a “significant reduction of orders from abroad,” which affected their production quota forcing them to retrench workers.

Most of the garment companies in MEZ serve international markets like the US and Europe, among others.

The retrenchment will take effect on Oct. 4, 2020. Affected workers will get their entire one-month salary from Sept. 4 to Oct. 4.

Siaton said more workers were supposed to be affected by the retrenchment but they were able to convince the overall human resource manager of MEZ to reconsider.

“As a result, instead of 5,600 workers retrenched, the number was reduced to 4,400. For couples affected, it was considered that only one will be dismissed from work,” she said.

The Dole 7 assured that it would be at the forefront in conducting livelihood seminars and orientations among interested affected workers in coordination with the Livelihood Center of Lapu-Lapu City.

“From there, we will be able to determine who are interested to avail (themselves of) our livelihood program and what livelihood projects they will venture into. For now, we already have secured the hard copies of the profile of the workers. These will form part of our tools in extending whatever form of assistance the department, together with other partner-agencies, could provide to the displaced workers,” Siaton said. (JOB)


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