Dole: Over 10,000 contractuals now regular workers

MORE than 10,000 contractual workers are now secured of their jobs after their mother companies have decided to make them regular employees.

According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, 195 companies have voluntarily regularized 10,532 workers nationwide in response to administration’s objective to reduce illegitimate contractualization practices by 50 percent by the end of the year.

“We continue to encourage employers to voluntarily regularize workers, who are under labor-only contracting arrangements,” said Bello in a press conference for the First 100 Days of the Duterte administration.

Among the companies that have agreed to regularize workers are companies included in the list of priority industries.

They include mall giant SM, which regularized 4,796 workers; and convenience store chain, 7-Eleven, which regularized 800 workers.

Department store chain, Rustan's, meanwhile, has committed to convert into permanent workers a total of 1,200 employees.

Earlier, the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) has committed to reduce contractualization work arrangements by 50 percent by 2016 and its elimination by 2017.

But while some volunteered to be amenable to the Dole program, seven manpower agencies in Luzon became the first recipients of the cease-and-desist orders (CDOs) from the department.

According to Bello, they have already issued CDOs to seven companies, including five in Calabarzon, one in Metro Manila, and one in Central Luzon.

"'Yung cease-and-desist order, from its very implication, ibig sabihin pinapahinto namin yung operations ng kumpanya or kaya inorderan namin yung isang ahensya or manpower service ay huwag muna sila magdeploy. Yung cease and desist order is already a form of sanction," said Bello.

The agencies issued CDOs include Global Skills Multi-Purpose Cooperative, HD Manpower Services Cooperative, Worktrusted Manpower Cooperative, Excellent Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and DCMM Manpower Services in Calabarzon; JD Manpower Services in Metro Manila; and Abelline Human Resources Services in Central Luzon.

He also said the Dole is seriously looking into the work scheme of Alaska Milk Corporation as he hinted that the company could also be issued a CDO soon.

"Kapag hindi sila naka-comply, that will be tantamount to failing the assessment. In which case, ang kanilang preventive suspension can worsen to a cancellation of registration," added Dole Undersecretary Dominador Say.

Labor officials said the CDOs issued on the manpower agencies should serve as a warning to other business establishments, who continue to refuse to end their illegal contractualization schemes such as "endo".

"All regional offices have been directed to suspend the Certificates of Registration of establishments found violating the law of security of tenure," said Bello.

The labor chief, then, assured that the government's war versus "endo" should not lead to job losses as feared by some sectors.

This, he admitted, is unless the company will opt to close down due to the prohibition of "endo" labor schemes.

"Ang worst case scenario is mag-close shop yung kumpanya. Unless they will close, these contractuals will graduate into regular employees," said Bello. (HDT/Sunnex)
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