NCMB settles unfair labor practice case at the Soft Touch Development Corp. in Valenzuela City

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday commended the National Conciliation and Mediation Board-National Capital Region after it settled through conciliation-mediation a PM dispute at the Soft Touch Development Corporation, a pasta manufacturer in Lawang Bato, Valenzuela City.

“The continued operation of the company and the employment of its 60 employees is assured following the successful efforts of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board-National Capital Region to conciliate-mediate a dispute,” said Baldoz after receiving the report of NCMB Executive Director Reynaldo R. Ubaldo.

In his report, Ubaldo said the stable labor relations in the company suffered a setback when the workers’ union, Soft Touch Development Corporation Employees Union, the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of the 42 rank-and-file employees of the company, filed a preventive mediation case on 16 February 2014, alleging management of unfair labor practice, particularly refusal to bargain, claims for tax refund, and overtime pay.

In the initial conciliation meeting on 4 March, the management refuted the allegations, saying the union submitted its proposal prematurely.

“The existing CBA states that the agreement between the parties is operative until March 2014,” Ubaldo said.

“However, there was a typographical error which both parties acknowledged during the meeting. After careful scrutiny of the CBA, they affirmed that the intended effectivity of the CBA is until March 2015. Thus, both parties agreed to commence negotiations by that time,” Ubaldo added.

“The two other issues on tax refund and overtime pay will be discussed at the plant level,” Ubaldo further said.

The NCMB’s conciliator-mediator, Edgar G. Aquino, who handled the dispute, said the two parties just needed a venue to calmly discuss the issues and the NCMB, through its conciliation-mediation services, provided that setting for the parties to amicably settle.

As part of the settlement of the preventive mediation case, the NCMB-NCR will assist the company in the activating its labor-management council (LMC) and grievance machinery.

END/Gillian Pearl L. Guerrero, NCMB

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