The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) was able to settle thousands of cases involving monetary and collective bargaining benefits totaling P2,014,354,911 and benefiting 39,691 workers from July 2016 to March 2017.
Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said it was a record expeditious settlement of labor disputes using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms that ensure integrity, efficiency and fairness and bereft of the long legal proceedings in labor row resolution.
“Alternative dispute resolution is our strategy in ensuring speedy delivery of labor justice. DOLE stands firm on sustaining industrial peace through the fast settlement of labor disputes,” he said.
Executive Director Shirley M. Pascual of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) reported that 27,226 requests for assistance (RFAs) on Single Entry Approach (SEnA) were settled resulting to P1,382,516,848.23 billion monetary benefit to 32,017 workers.
“Through SEnA, we settled 27,226 RFAs from a total of 44,863 cases we handled. Some of the reported cases involved illegal dismissal, underpayment of wages, non-payment of over-time pay, holiday pay and thirteenth month pay and non-coverage of social protection benefits,” Pascual reported.
On the preventive meditation (PM), Pascual said the NCMB resolved 332 cases of 404 handled cases resulting to P59,577,925 million monetary benefits to 2,509 workers.
“One of the recent settled cases involving unfair labor practices is that of Maynilad Water Services and its workers. The case was settled last March 22 and resulted to estimated total benefits of P50 million to 200 employees,” Pascual said.
Also, some of the companies/employers with high settlement of money claims include Kepco SPC Power Corporation with P130 million monetary benefits to 96 workers; Novartis Health Care Phils., Inc. with P34 million to 137 workers; Capitol Medical Center with P 20.52 million to 600 workers; and Pepsi Cola Philippines, Inc. with P13 million monetary benefits to 110 workers.
The NCMB chief also reported that 121 cases on the notices of strike/lockout (NS/L) were settled with monetary benefits amounting to P545,314,519 million to 4,914 workers.
She added that the decrease in work-disruptive industrial dispute resulted to 310,521 man-days saved.
NCMB also reported that 10 cases out of 17 handled cases on actual strikes/lockout were settled and resulted to P26,945,47 monetary benefits to 211 workers.
On the voluntary arbitration (VA), NCMB handled 363 cases and disposed 67 VA cases resulting to P145.8 million monetary benefits to 40 workers.
In addition, Bello reported that the case involving RubberWorld Philippines Inc., and Lingkod Manggagawa Sa Rubberworld, Adidas-Anglo, which started in 1994 due to severe financial crisis and resulted to the termination of the workers, is now nearing settlement.
“After 22 years, the labor dispute involving Rubberworld and its workers will soon be resolved. Both parties are attending conferences to finally settle their differences,” he said.
The labor secretary meanwhile underscored the importance of Labor Management Cooperations (LMCs) and Grievance Machineries (GM) in companies that helped in resolving disputes through its promotion of good labor-management relations.
Bello said 2,827 companies with LMCs and 3,332 active GMs did not report any cases of strike/lockout, preventive meditation and voluntary arbitration.
END/ Abegail De Vega