28 August 2019
Workers accuse Labor Dept of inaction, set up camp at head office
Aggrieved workers from several labor unions affiliated with socialist Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) today pitched camp in front of the national office of the Labor department in Intramuros today to urge Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello to enforce various decisions and commitments he made last year that remain unfulfilled.
Workers complain that companies have not complied with decisions favorable to workers that were decreed by the department. Decisions range from regularization to return-to-work orders to backwages payments.
Among the campers are representatives of the Leyte-based, poultry supplier DBSN Farm Agriventures who were promised by Sec. Bello himself in July last year that he will personally accompany the workers to enforce its decision.
Last year, DBSN employees sought a DOLE inspection but were punished by management and even charged with violations of the Cybercrime Law for merely posting an image of strikers on social media.
Upon the inspection of a labor inspector of DOLE Region 8, DBSN was found guilty of the following labor standards violations: (1) No proof of coverage/remittance of SSS, (2) No Service Agreement, (3) Non-payment of Overtime Premium Pay, (4) Non-payment of Service Incentives Leave Pay, (5) Non-payment of Holiday Pay, (6) Illegal deduction (personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, and aprons, and delivery and transport expenses of sold products by boat), (7) Non-payment of Night Shift Differential Pay, 8. Non-presentation of D.O 174 Registration Certificate, (8) Non-payment of 13th Month Pay.
Other protestors include illegally dismissed workers from Cosmic Enterprises and strikers of Pacific Plaza Towers and Zagu shakes.
BMP claim that workers are suffering from a double whammy for asserting their right to be regularized under the Bello’s Department Order 174. “First by the retaliatory measures employed by the companies and non-compliance of decisions favorable to workers and the lack of political will of the DOLE to enforce its own orders and decisions”.
“This administration’s treacherous abandonment of workers with the non-enactment of a law that will forever outlaw trilateral work arrangements has only exacerbated the conditions of contractual employees and highlighted the gaps of Bello’s department order and his apparent ineptitude,” claimed Luke Espiritu, BMP president.
The campers promise to maintain the orderliness of their protest camp and will only vacate their camp once Sec. Bello personally and vigorously takes action towards the fulfillment of the labor department’s decisions.###