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Philippines : Threat of breaking the labor union strike of illegally dismissed workers of Goldilocks by force
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Wednesday, 17 March 2010 18:42

Phto_by_R_Yamzon_smallPhoto by R. Yamzon

17 of March, 2010


Dear Friends,

The Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) requests your urgent action regarding a threat of breaking the labor union strike set-up by dismissed workers of Goldilocks-one of the largest bakeshops in the country, and to bring about a just solution for the illegal dismissal of 127 workers for conducting and participating in a supposed ‘illegal strike’ which apparently took place on May 20 and 27, 2008.

BRIEF HISTORY/DESCRIPTION OF THE CASE

On April 16, 2008, The Bukluran ng Independyenteng Samahan na Itinatag sa Goldilocks (BISIG) workers’ union sent a letter to the management requesting the latter to commence the collective bargaining negotiation but the management ignored the said letter request. BISIG filed a Notice of Strike (NOS) dated April 24, 2008 on the issue of discrimination, harassments and other workers’ rights and welfare issues. On May 20, 2008, Goldilocks responded by filing a petition for assumption of jurisdiction or Certification for Compulsory Arbitration for the NOS. DOLE Undersecretary Lourdes Transmonte, then acting Secretary issued a Certificate Order dated May 26, 2008 certifying the labor dispute to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) for compulsory arbitration. The said order was received by BISIG on May 29, 2008.

A Goldilocks representative and BISIG leaders entered into agreement at the National Conciliation And Mediation Board (NCMB)dated June 11, 2008 and agreed to await the intervention of DOLE Office of the Secretary and the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) in relation with the labor dispute. In addition, the union hereby withdraws the instant labor dispute for the sake of industrial peace.


On October 13, 2008, BISIG filed NOS this time around the grounds were as follows: 1. Unfair labor practice (Refusal to Bargain Collectively); 2. Illegal Suspension; 3. Unjust transfer of Goldilocks SM Cubao Branch to Provinces; 4. Discrimination (selective P13.00 wage increase); and others. On October 31, 2008, DOLE Secretary Mariano Roque certuified the NOS to a Compulsary Arbitration before the NLRC.

The certified Notice of Strike (NOS) was raffled to NLRC Sixth Division composed of Commissioner Nieves Vivar-de Castro (ponente), Commissioner Benedicto R. Palacol (Presiding Commissioner) and Commissioner Isabel G. Panganiban-Ortiguera.

On May 28, 2009, the NLRC came up with the decision penned by Commissioner Nieves Vivar-de Castro. The decision was promulgated as follows:

1. Ordering Goldilocks to commence collective bargaining negotiation with BUKLOD (another contesting workers’ union)

2. Sustaining the legality of the penalty of suspension on Wilson Dy and six other officers, leaders and members of BISIG-AGLO.

3. Declaring Joel Lachica (of BISIG) and four (4) others to have been validly dismissed from employment

4. Declaring the demonstration and picketing of more than 120 workers and employees after office hours and eight hours work conducted on May 20 and 27, 2008 to be illegal strike and imposing the following penalties:

a. For having participated in the illegal strikes, the 17 Union officers and Board members are deemed to have lost their employment.

b. For having committed illegal activities during illegal strikes, the one hundred four (104) Union members are deemed terminated from employment.
c. Ordering Goldilocks to grant financial assistance to the terminated Union members only in an amount equivalent to half month pay per year of service as a measure of social justice.

Mr. Teodorico Navea of the Bukluran Manggagawa sa Pilipinas (BMP) labor center said that the decision negates the existence of the duly certified bargaining agent which is BISIG. He also laments the outright non recognition of the violations incurred by the Goldilocks Management. Furthermore, the decision affirms the management not guilty of any unfair labor practice well in fact the workers has a thorough documentation of company’s violations according to Navea.

Also, the workers noticed that a copy of the decision was only hand carried by an NLRC employee to the office of Miralles and Associates Law Office (lawyers of BISIG), a far cry from the NLRC tradition where decisions are being sent thru registered mail.

Another unjust decision made was on the case of illegal strike. The workers asked, to where did the NLRC found an illegal strike when no strike ever took place. Indeed, there were 3 attempts on the NOS but all these were assumed jurisdiction by the Office of the Secretary thereby averting the supposed strike to take place. They said that they only exercised their protest during break time hours and with that it did not constitute an illegal strike.

On February 8, 2010, the NLRC reaffirmed the dismissal of the 127 union members of the BISIG Labor Union. This time, the decision focused on the illegality of the strike (which never took place) that became the basis of the dismissal.

The dismissed workers push through their protest and currently holding a strike infront of the Goldilocks plant in Shaw Boulevard , Mandaluyong City . According to them, the management is planning to break the union strike by force any time soon.

SUGGESTED ACTION

Please write letters to the concerned authorities below to:

1. Call their attention to uphold workers' Constitutional right to organize, collective bargaining and negotiations and peaceful concerted activities, including the right to strike in accordance with law;

2. Remind the National Labor Relations (NLRC) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in their obligation to settle disputes between workers and employers including conciliation, and enforce mutual compliance to foster industrial peace.

3. Remind the authorities that forced dispersals of peaceful protest actions carried out without legal and other protections, are prohibited under domestic and international law.

Please urge the Philippine government by sending an appeal letter, e-mail or fax to the following addresses:

* H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic, New Executive Building, Malacañang Palace, JP Laurel St., San Miguel, Manila 1005, Philippines. Fax: +632 736 10 10, Tel: +632 735 62 01 / 564 14 51 to 80; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

* Hon. Leila De Lima , Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights, SAAC Bldg., UP Complex, Commonwealth Avenue , Diliman, Quezon City , Philippines . Fax: +632 929 0102. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

* Hon. Marianito D. Roque, Secretary, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), 7th Floor, DOLE Building, Intramuros, 1002 Manila, Philippines, Tel: +632 908 2917 loc. 701, 703, 704, 706, 707. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

* Hon. Gerardo Benjamin C. Nograles, Chairman and Presiding Commissioner, National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), 8/F PPSTA Bldg. IV, Banawe, Quezon City , Philippines . Tel: +362 740 7729

* Police Director General Eduardo Versoza, Chief, Philippine National Police, National Headquarters, Camp Crame , EDSA, Quezon City , Philippines . Tel: +632 9116213. Fax: +632 7248763

Contact Organization:

Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
45 St. Mary Street , Cubao, Quezon City 1109, Philippines
telephone: (632) 4378054 / facsimile: (632) 9113643
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
website: www.tfdp.net

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 18:54
 

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