FOUR days after the terrorist attack that displaced at least 130 workers, Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC) assured its employees that they will provide the necessary intervention to tide them over after the sudden loss of their livelihood like providing skills training.
More than 100 workers of LFC have lost their jobs due to the incident.
LFC Head of the Strategic HR Solutions and Services Hernani Geronimo told reporters Thursday, May 4 in a press conference at Hotel Elena that they have already met and talked with the affected individuals in the burning of their box and plastic manufacturing plant facility in Barangay Mandug, Davao City.
READ: NPAs attack Lapanday facilities; mayor says it is terror act
“We have met with our employees yesterday (May 2) to assure them that the company will take all the necessary steps in order to extend help so that the difficulties that lies ahead become a shared goal by both the company and the employees,” Geronimo said.
To address the unemployment issue, the management plans to refer the displaced workers to other companies especially those who are skilled in box manufacturing.
The facility was the lone box plant owned by Lapanday. The rest involve agricultural operations.
LFC said they cannot force employees to take on farm work and that their skills set may not be appropriate for this.
“Towards this end, we will be embarking on making sure that those interested could be equipped and enabled to find livelihood if it would mean livelihood outside the box plant. We will be able to do that and give the necessary referrals or for recommendations,” he said, adding that there are other companies around that need skilled work.
They are trying also to coordinate with the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to assist the displaced workers in acquiring skills to have additional skills beyond the box plant nature of work.
“Our employees are extremely at a loss as to how they will be able to proceed with their day to day activities since their livelihood was already taken from them,” Geronimo said.
During their discussion with the employees, they unanimously raised concerns on the lack of means of income considering that enrollment and opening of the new school year is approaching. Most were worried about how they will support their children given that they have lost their jobs.
“We will do everything we can to help cushion the impact of this one as we have done in other instances where calamities have struck we are there to provide not only for our employees but for the community as well,” he added.
Contrary to hearsays that they are exploiting its employees, he stressed that the company has exemplified outstanding performance in ensuring that all the benefits are being given to them while maintaining a good labor relationship which is evident by the recognition given by the Dole-Davao.
“We are we believe will continue to be an upright and outstanding corporate citizen who are compassionate and concern not just with our employees but with the communities we operate,” he said.
The company, he said, has 27 unions in various farms, plantations and groups.
In fact, last December they signed collective bargaining agreement with the members of the Kilusang Mayo Uno who are also at loss after the incident.
“We value collective bargaining. We recognized the rights of our employees to organize among them and we sit down in peaceful negotiations,” he said.
Meanwhile, LFC also expressed their appreciation to the Davao Local Government for condemning with them the atrocities launched by the rebels and the gesture of the law enforcers in giving relief goods to their employees in the midst of the emotional damage they sustained.
Geronimo also sympathized with the fish vendor, Larry Buenafe, who is still on comatose at the Southern Philippines Medical Center.