The industrial climate in the country continues to stabilize as all regions remain strike and lockout free, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said today.

In a report to Labor and Employment Secretary Patricia A. Sto. Tomas, DOLE Undersecretary for labor relations Manuel G. Imson said there was no strike and or lockout declared during the first three weeks of January this year.

Imson also said that notices of strike/lockout filed with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) during the first three weeks of the month was recorded at 21 or 19 percent, which is lower than the 26 cases registered during the same period last year. Likewise, the number of workers involved in these cases were lower by 60 percent at 2,130 compared to 5,320 last year.

Imson added the disposition of the strike and lockout notices for the period was recorded at 35 percent as compared to 28 percent last year. The settlement rate was higher at 33 percent this year compared to 24 percent a year ago, he said.

According to him, the settlement of the notices of strikes on the ground of unfair labor practice during the covered period involved the payment of a total of P1.3 million in separation pay benefiting 40 workers. The others involved submission of the issues for voluntary arbitration and an agreement of the parties to conduct consent election.

Imson said five of the 21 notices of strikes were filed during the third week of January three of which were settled during the said period. The settlement prevented the occurrence of strikes at Myrex Ethica Laboratories, Inc., Robin Homes Depot Inc. and Eastern Samar Electric Cooperative, Inc.

The undersecretary also said that 37 new preventive mediation cases were filed which was 21 percent lower than the 47 cases filed a year ago. Likewise, the number of workers covered by the preventive cases filed was lower this year by 55 percent at 4,041 compared to 9,040 involved workers last year.

Also, nine preventive mediation cases were settled involving the disputes at Chris Garments Corp., Package Makers Inc., Philippine Fire and Marine Insurance Emerald Multi Resources & Mfg. Corp., Vitarich Corp., Sharp Viewing Entertainment Corp., Central Luzon Foods Corp., Albay Agro Industrial and Gracean Fiber Crafts.

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