Dole names PAL, PLDT as violators of labor standards

THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) has named two giant local companies as violators of various labor standards, mostly in relation to its contractualizations of its employees.

In a press conference, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that PLDT Inc. and Philippine Airlines (PAL) were found to have been committing various violations to labor standards.

"At PLDT, we found violations. Mostly among its sub-contractors and majority of which are not even registered or with expired registrations," said Bello. The PLDT Inc. was formerly known as the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company.

"PAL and PAL Express, including their contractors and sub-contractors, is where we also noted violations of general labor standards and occupational safety and health standards," he further said.

In PLDT's case, the labor chief noted how they have already found at least 10,000 workers eligible to become regular employees already.

"I will order the regularization of close to 10,000 workers under contracting and subcontracting arrangements but are performing jobs that are directly related to PLDT's business," said Bello.

The PLDT, in a press statement, said it has been made aware of Bello’s remarks regarding the use of service contractors.

It said it has not received any order from the Dole, other than document requests in relation to an ongoing audit of PLDT’s compliance with labor standards, occupational health and safety, and engagement of third party service contractors.

"The company and its contractors continue to submit documents requested by the labor office and will continue to fully cooperate the ongoing audit," it said.

The PLDT said it is committed to "fully comply with all existing labors and regulations."

Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod added that they expect a higher number of PLDT employees that can be regularized as they pursue a nationwide evaluation on the telco company.

"The 10,000 is just from Metro Manila and nearby provinces. We could find more if we include other areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao," said Maglunsod.

On the other hand, Bello noted how they found PAL in violation of general labor standards, such as underpayment of wages, overtime pay, and service incentive leaves; as well as occupational safety standards, such as no valid fire safety inspection certificate, and no trained safety and health officer.

He further said that PAL's contractors were found to be involved in performing jobs directly related to the main business of the firms.

"We have no figures yet as we still have to complete our inspection and assessment of PAL. These are just initial findings," Maglunsod said.

Maglunsod said they are looking to complete their assessment of PAL before or after May 1.

Asked why the two large companies were identified first, Dole-National Capital Region (NCR) Director John Caniete said this is because the two were included in the Department's "priority establishments" list.

According to Bello, they will not hesitate in giving the appropriate penalties for companies found to be violating labor laws.

"We found these violations and we will slap them with the appropriate penalty if they refuse to comply," said Bello.

In a related development, more than 45,000 contractual workers have attained regular employment statuses under the Duterte administration, Dole said.

Bello III disclosed that their campaign against all forms of illegal contractualization has already resulted to 45,605 workers being regularized by their employers.

"Majority have been voluntarily regularized while the rest were through regular assessment," said Bello.

The regions with the highest number of regularization are NCR, Central Luzon, Northern Mindanao, Davao, and Caraga.

On the other hand, regions that most frequently regularize their workers after the regular assessment are NCR, Calabarzon and Zamboanga Peninsula. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)

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