RUMOR: Vivo’s PH company to close shop?

But is it really "closing"?

We’ve heard from several internal sources in the past week that Vivo’s Philippine company is set to “close down”, as they call it, in the coming weeks.

The rumors sparked in several of our circles as the company faces labor issues with its former employees, currently noted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Earlier this year, over 200 disgruntled Vivo sales representatives went to protest in front of the DOLE office in Intramuros, Manila, citing Vivo PH’s actions of “mass firing”. DOLE reported last August 24 that during the mass action, the workers said Vivo allegedly fired a total of 689 regular employees without legal basis. “The company’s alibi is that we were retrenched due to business losses but that’s untrue,” one of the protesters said.

“How can that be when each of us was selling 50 units of cellphones equivalent to P300,000 per month? They’re earning. Our termination from work has no legal cause,” another protester said.

This action, according to DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III, will be dealt with accordingly if it turns out to be a union buster. “That’s a very sad story during the pandemic. But we need to get all the information about this so we can act on it accordingly.

Before anything, I call on the dismissed workers to formally file a complaint at DOLE so we can fully execute our job on the matter,” Bello said.

According to several sources providing information to WalasTech, Vivo is currently experiencing a huge internal reorganization. Employees are being asked to resign and transfer to a local distributor company for continuing operations.

The remaining sales promoters, on the other hand, are being laid off to be transferred to a manpower agency. Sources we’ve talked to, meanwhile, assured that the Vivo brand and its products will still be visible in the market despite this transition, and new devices (such as the upcoming X70 series) will launch in the country just in time for the holiday season.

As of time of publishing, there is no further confirmation on whether the company is really closing down as of the moment. Vivo has also not commented publicly on these labor cases as well. WalasTech is yet to receive a response from the Chinese company.

Carl writes for WalasTech when he's not working full-time. Give him tips and/or leads at [email protected].