DOLE reports settlement of labor dispute at garments firm to benefit 2,500 workers

Date Posted: June 21st, 2012 01:49 PM

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday reported the resolution of the labor dispute at Carina Apparel, Inc.(CAI), a company locator at the Laguna Industrial Park, following the signing of an agreement between its union and management.

The settlement of the dispute will benefit the company's 2,500 workers, the DOLE said.

In a report to Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) headed by executive director Reynaldo Ubaldo said that the settlement came about after a series of conciliation-mediation conferences where the contending parties mutually agreed on a settlement agreement containing eight major terms of a settlement.

The dispute arose when the Carina Apparel Labor Union, the certified sole and exclusive bargaining agent of the firm's employees with over 2,000 members, filed a notice of strike on account of unfair labor practice, specifically union busting, illegal dismissal of union officers, coercion, harassment, and union interference.

Carina Apparel Labor Union is an independent labor organization headed by Aaron Babala.

CAI, on the other hand, is headed by Director Robert Ng and is engaged in the design and manufacture of intimate apparel such as brassieres, briefs, bodysuits, camisoles, and swimwear.

The NCMB fielded NCMB Regional Director George Ridad, Labor Attache Leonida Romulo of the Office of the Secretary Conciliation and Mediation Office, Conciliator-Mediator Cynthia Foncardas, and DOLE Laguna Provincial Office Engr. Ignacio Sanqui to explore and effect a settlement.

Commending the union and company management for exhibiting openness and flexibility that led to the settlement of the dispute, Baldoz said:

"This is another laudable tripartite achievement in the promotion of industrial peace, fostering harmonious labor-management relation, and preserving jobs for our people."

Ubaldo said the disputing parties have agreed on the following terms: (1) the company management will recognize the job security and length of service of all employees, the union, and the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA); (2) it guarantees work to all workers and in the event of reduction in workload that will affect the workers, it will issue a notice to the union prior to its implementation; (3) CAI management guarantees to avoid, with earnest efforts, delay in salaries and remittances of union dues and sickness benefits; (4) both parties will discuss low efficiency and quality issues at the plant level during Labor Management Cooperation (LMC) meetings; (5) parties will not release or put on hold 150 sewing machines and 1 Gerber cutter, but will be subject of further negotiation at the plant level during the LMC; and (6) in case of closure, CAI will be held liable for further payment of separation pay of the workers as provided by law.

Both parties likewise agreed that the Notice of Strike filed by the union shall be deemed withdrawn upon the signing of the agreement.

“It was a happy day for both the union and management of Carina Apparel, Inc. as both parties opted to settle their differences amicably and avoided the litigious and expensive process of compulsory arbitration,” Ubaldo reported to Baldoz.

END/Joseph

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