Yanson matriarch pleads against VTI takeover

BACOLOD. Leaders and representatives of employees’ unions of transport giant Vallacar Transit Inc. in a press conference at Delicioso Restaurant in Bacolod City Thursday, July 11, 2019. (Photo by Teresa D. Ellera)

THE Yanson matriarch, Olivia V. Yanson, appealed to her four children to stop their attempt to take over the terminals of Vallacar Transit Inc. amid the squabbles of the family.

"If you can still find love and respect within yourselves for me, I simply ask that you stop your attempt of taking over the terminals, and the branches," she said.

She added: "Our employees have spoken. Our 15 branches have spoken. They only recognize Leo Rey as president. If you insist on the legality of your claims, let the courts decide first before proceeding on any action against the terminals or against any employee loyal to me or Leo Rey."

"If you will not listen to me because your hearts are already cold, listen to your 18,000 employees, the very same people who toil day and night to make us what we are now. They deserve that," Olivia said.

She added by still referring to her four children, Roy, Emily, Celina and Ricardo Jr., "every time you bring your security forces and legal team to force yourselves in, our people experience anxiety and fear."

"Please do not interrupt the peace and order of our commuters and employees by forcing yourselves to illegally take over the terminals ,especially Bacolod North and Bacolod South," the mother added.

Roy, for his part, urged his younger brother, Leo Rey, to fulfill the wishes of their deceased father, Ricardo Sr., for the family to unite and preserve his legacy.

“We may have disagreements now, but I still believe that blood is thicker than water or power, I should say. I know Leo, even my sister Ginnette and my mother Olivia want nothing more than the best interest of this company which dad started," Roy said.

Meanwhile, four high-ranking officers of the Paciwu-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) are facing legal charges for allegedly committing serious unfair labor practices aimed at destabilizing operations of a bus company in Bacolod City and make it appear that workers are poised to strike.

Most of the 18,000 strong Vallacar bus transit employees refused to create a fake strike and even went on to support the company in filing a complaint against these union leaders. The alleged fake strike aims to impugn the authority of the bus management and create an impression that employees are not supporting the new management.

Vallacar bus president Roy Yanson condemned the actions of these union leaders. He urged them to follow the rule of law, which recognizes the legal authority of the new management appointed by the company’s board of directors.

In a complaint filed through his legal counsel, Atty. Sigfrid Fortun, Roy Yanson, alongside several bus drivers and conductors of Vallacar Transit Corporation, narrated how several union leaders tried to coerce several of their bus drivers and conductors to disrupt bus services for more than three hours.

The incident happened last July 14, when union leaders led by Rey dela Torre, as executive vice president, Juvy Diama, and Raymond Roldan, board members of the Philippine, Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Worker’s Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (Paciwu-TUCP) and its chapter president, Franny Santarin, entered the Vallacar North bus terminal around 3 p.m.

Dela Torre, Diama, Roldan and Santarin reportedly urged bus drivers to stop working and group themselves together to make it appear that they are mounting a strike against the bus management.

“Respondents wanted to make it appear as if employees are engaging in a strike,” said Roy in the complaint affidavit filed before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole)-Western Visayas.

These union leaders allegedly promised to give monetary reward to those who will join the fake strike.

Hundreds of bus drivers and conductors went against the wishes of these union leaders. They told the leaders that Vallacar employees are not siding with any faction in the on-going management row and they asked to be left alone to do their jobs.

“We vehemently refused to comply with their instruction and replied that we have to work and that we cannot be part of the stoppage of work and their plans. We did not participate in their plan because we did not want to paralyze the operations and services to the riding public,” one of the complainant bus drivers narrated in his affidavit.

Most of the 18,000 strong employees of the bus company under the Yanson Group of Bus Companies remained neutral despite several attempts by some sectors allied with the old management to foment confusion and disruption of operations.

Dela Torre, Diama, Roldan and Santarin stand charged for unfair labor practice by coercing employees in the participation in a strike.

Seeing that they failed, terminal operations manager Rald Cena came to the scene by demanding that bus drivers surrender their cash collection and bus tickets. Cena even asked that the drivers park their buses inside the garage area, effecting disrupting operations and causing undue delays to hundreds of commuters who were in the terminal awaiting their rides.

Complainants are asking the NLRC to find these union leaders liable for unfair labor practices and restrain them from inciting, influencing and convincing bus employees to strike or conduct work stoppages.

Bus operations remain normal in all 15 terminals under the control of the new bus management under Roy Yanson.


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