A potential power crisis was averted after the regional office of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) successfully settled a dispute between the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and its workers in Batangas.
The KEPCO Ilijan Employees Association, an affiliate of the Workers Solidarity Network (WSN), entered into a fresh six-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with KEPCO management after negotiations deadlocked last year prompting the union to call for a strike vote among its 54-member rank and file members.
“I commend the parties for resolving their differences in between scheduled conciliation conferences to expedite the bargaining process resulting to a P9.8 million economic package for the workers,” Bello said.
The 1,200 megawatt dual-fuel power plant in Ilijan, Batangas supplies part of the power requirements of Luzon. It is the largest power plant in the country run on natural gas and uses distillate oil as secondary fuel source.
“With the settlement, a strike was averted assuring parts of Luzon continued power supply,” Bello said.
Marathon conciliation-mediation conferences facilitated by Undersecretary Joel B. Maglunsod, together with RCMB IV-A Director Feliciano R. Orihuela, Deputy Executive Director Maria Teresita Cancio, Conciliator-Mediator Jovit R. Morando and Mario Manuelito Say, led to the settlement of the labor dispute and eventually to the signing of a new six year CBA.
The union went on a strike vote early January after CBA negotiations deadlocked in September last year prompting a series of conciliation-mediation conferences.
KEPCO management and the union finally agreed to a wage increase of seven percent of the basic salary per month for the next three years; tax free signing bonus of P40,000 per employee; and separation pay of one and a half month per year of service.