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Union protests surprise layoffs at Canlubang milk plant, files notice of strike

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 3:38 p.m.) — Wyeth Philippines Progressive Workers Union has filed a notice of strike at the regional National Conciliation and Mediation Board office in Laguna over the nutrition giant’s termination of 140 workers, a move that workers said violated a collective bargaining agreement with the company.

Workers at the Wyeth Nutrition plant in Canlubang were barred from going to work on Thursday without warning, the union said. They were later allowed in only to be told that 140 of them, including 10 union officers, were being laid off so the company could cut costs.

“Management locked us out on May 18, they themselves ordered a stop to operations,” union president Debie Faigmani said in Filipino in a statement to media. Faigmani, who is among those laid off, said this was an illegal lockout that the union will protest.

The Labor Code defines a lockout as a

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