Through conciliation-mediation, DOLE’s NCMB preserves jobs for 1,335 workers of Freeport Area of Bataan bag manufacturer
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday lauded the National Conciliation and Mediation Board, specifically Director Maria Teresita Cancio of the NCMB Regional Office in Pampanga, for acting fast in settling a brewing dispute between the workers and management of East Cam Tech Corporation that could have led to the loss of employment of 1,335 workers.
“I am pleased that the NCMB has settled the dispute at East Cam Tech Corporation, thus preserving the employment of its 1,335 workers,” said Baldoz. “Conciliation-mediation is still the best antidote to possible industrial unrest,” she added.
The dispute at the company arose when the East Cam Tech Employees Union, which is a chartered member of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Associated Labor Unions, filed a notice of strike (NOS) before the NCMB on account of unfair labor practices, specifically, illegal dismissal of union officers, union busting, and harassment.
Acting fast on the NOS, Director Cancio convened a conference, during which the Union claimed that workers of the company were being forced to sign resignation letters and Quitclaim and Release by management, with a promise of financial assistance of between P3,000 to P5,000. It also alleged that 18 employees, who were union members, were illegally terminated when they refused to sign the documents.
The company’s representative to the conference, Atty. Dalisay Esclamado, denied the claims, saying that the 18 dismissed workers were not East Cam Tech Corporation employees, but workers of Sun East Multi-purpose Cooperative, a 500-member strong cooperative with a valid service contract with East Cam Tech Corporation.
After hearing the side of both parties and further conciliation, Dir. Cancio got them to settle their dispute under the following terms and conditions: (1) the 18 dismissed employees are to be provided with employment assistance through the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB); (2) the DOLE and the NCMB will provide the dismissed employees with livelihood assistance; (3) there will be no further termination of employees in the company unless for due cause and after due process; (4) the dismissed employees are to be given a cash advance of P5,000 each by the Sun East Multi-purpose Cooperative on 5 March at the AFAB Labor Center; and (5) the union will withdraw the NOS.
“This satisfactory settlement of the dispute through conciliation-mediation will redound to the benefit not only of the workers whose jobs could have been lost if the strike materialized, but also of the management which is now assured of continued harmony,” said Baldoz, as she encouraged workers and management in all the country’s establishments to explore the avenue of social dialogue to sustain the prevailing peaceful industrial climate.
East Cam Tech Corporation belongs to the Dong-In Group of Companies, and owned 99 percent by Dong In Entech Limited, a South Korean company. It operates inside the Freeport Area of Bataan in Mariveles, and is represented by Kyung Bae Lee.
East Cam Tech Employees Union, on the other hand, is the bargaining unit of 1,500 union members, and represented by Cecilio Sales, union secretary.