Plant workers file strike notice-A A +A
Saturday, October 13, 2012
WORKERS of Lapanday Fruits Corporation belonging to the Box and Plastic Plant subsidiary filed a notice of strike on Friday before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board regional office after the collapse of the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations.
After five months of negotiating for workers' benefits, both parties could not reach an agreement to the terms regarding salary improvement, leave and other fringe benefits as proposed by the workers.
Romelito Pablo, president of Lapanday Box and Plastic Plant Workers Union-Association of Democratic Labor Organizations-Kilusang Mayo Uno claimed that their proposals are just meager and viable in comparison to the profit that their company is gaining.
The union said their proposal is only pegged at P516,156.70 a month (cost of all benefits) in contrast to P90,337,417.25 monthly sales that the Box Plant alone is generating.
According to the union's estimate, their proposal is a little over two percent of the monthly net income of the Box Plant alone without still considering the plastic plant's income.
Some of the opposing issues stalled in the negotiations are the salary increase and medical assistance. The union demanded an additional P75 per day increase of their wage while the Lapanday management offered only P5 per day increment. The union is demanding P3,000 yearly medical assistance against Lapanday management P300 yearly medical assistance per employee.
"We are very disappointed on how the Lapanday management responded to our demands. We are not asking the heavens. We are just asking our just share of our fruits of labor as guaranteed in Philippine Constitution," Pablo lamented.
Asked why the Union opted to stage a strike, Pablo said, "It's our constitutional right. We have come to a point where both parties can not settle the issues at stake. We've been very patient enough to the Management. Its over a year now since we have passed our proposals to them and to our dismay they did not have a clear justification why they cannot afford to grant our demands."
The National Conciliation and Mediation Board is expected to conduct a series of mediations between both parties, a last ditch effort to meet both parties' demands in a win-win situation to preserve industrial peace attuned to President Aquino's labor policy of zero strike.
Asked if the Union is still open to sit down back to the negotiating table, Pablo said, "We don't have assurance whether or not the management will treat us seriously now on the negotiating table. Our commitment depends on the seriousness and tangible response of the management to our demands. Right now we are preparing ourselves and our families because we knew that the possibility the Lapanday management would result to violent means as what they did in the 1980's when they hired the group of Manero and other rightist group in butchering labor leaders before is not impossible. But despite this odd, we are still firm and determined through our united strength because of the justness of our issue."
Lapanday Box and Plastic Plant is a subsidiary company under the Lapanday Fruits Corporation, which the Lorenzo family has the major share. I
The plant mainly produce boxes needed for export bananas and pineapples while its Plastic Plant manufactures plastic wraps and other plastic products needed in banana production. (PR)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 13, 2012.