LABOR inspectors of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) 7 are looking into the reported dispute at the Coca-Cola FEMSA plant in Mandaue City.
Dole 7 Director Johnson Cañete said they sent labor inspectors to the beverage plant to ask about the labor situation there following the picket of some workers last Friday night, which ended in the arrest and detention of three workers.
Cañete said the report of their labor inspectors will be evaluated by the Labor Relations/Labor Standard Division of Dole 7.
The Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines on Monday, Nov. 19, clarified that the picket last Nov. 16 was organized by a group of individuals, some of whom were identified as employees of Exeltech Manpower, a legitimate service provider of Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines for production and warehouse support.
A company official also denied the claim of some individuals working with the protesting workers that 400 workers of the beverage company face retrenchment.
“We did not retrench any of our employees. The associates of ExcelTech, our third party service provider, have some concerns internal to their company,” lawyer Juan Lorenzo Tañada, director for corporate and regulatory affairs of Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, told SunStar Cebu.
In a press statement, the company said that the picketers insisted on illegally putting up makeshift tents attached to its company property and attempted to block one of its facility’s gates.
The company said it is grateful to the Mandaue City Government and the local police for safeguarding the safety and security of its associates and company premises.
“We have been coordinating with our service provider, Exeltech, in order to come up with a satisfactory resolution at the soonest possible time. It is our hope that any further picketing activity that may ensue will no longer cause any disruption in the peace and order of the city,” the statement read.
“We emphasize that our company has always sought to promptly address and resolve any and all labor-related issues fairly, peacefully, and in good faith—in accordance with law, through meaningful dialogue, and within the proper forum,” Coca-Cola FEMSA said.
In an earlier interview, Senior Supt. Julian Entoma, the Mandaue City Police Office director, said the picket was illegal because the three men did not have a permit.
But even without a permit, they were given a chance to push through with their rally provided they take down their tent, but they didn’t. When the police arrived and told them to leave, they reportedly refused to do so and even collared one of the policemen, prompting the police to arrest the protesters. (EOB)