Cebu ecozone workers to bargain for rights-A A +A
Saturday, July 9, 2011
WORKERS of a manpower agency deploying laborers in the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) in Cebu has successfully formed a union, breaking the alleged no-union policy in the bustling industrial center in the Visayas.
According to the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), the A. Bones Manpower and Recruitment Agency won the certification elections (CE) in polls conducted last Tuesday at the Central Visayas office of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole).
In a close vote of 19-18, the union victory comes on the heels of an earlier win in another union election at principal employer Blaze Manufacturing Corp.
The agency places workers at Blaze, which was recently sold to a new owner Ouroku Corp., a Japanese-based company that produces construction materials for export to Japan.
"We now have a voice in our workplace and a union to protect our rights and welfare as workers both in the agency and the principal company," said Eddie Booc, president of the Agency Workers Union of Blaze.
The labor dispute at Blaze remains unresolved as some workers refused to accept the company's offer of a separation package.
PM said Blaze closed shop and separated its workers on the day the union was formed last June 2. It has since accused the company of union-busting.
"The workers did not accept the separation package because they believed the closure is just to avoid the union, an illegal lockout. We know that someone has to be punished for this illegal act," PM-Cebu spokesperson Dennis Derige told Sun.Star in a text message.
The union through its counsel Magdalena Lepiten formally lodged a complaint before the office of MEZ administrator Sansaluna Pinagayao last June 27, citing the illegal closure of the company.
If PEZA will approve and permits the sale, Lepiten said the agency has effectively assisted the company in its union busting and its illegal lockout.
"The sale of the company for purpose of evading union recognition is illegal and should not be tolerated by PEZA," the union said in its complaint. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)