Worker who figures in accident receives P966-K in separation pay after DOLE’s NCMB settles case through mediation-conciliation

Nicolas Escorpiso, a member of the Federation of Free Workers-Columbia Wire and Cable Union Chapter, has retired from work after figuring in an accident, but he received P966,338.56 in severance pay and financial assistance, thanks to the management of Columbia Wire and Cable Corporation and his union which opted to settle a dispute between them through conciliation and mediation with the assistance of the DOLE’s National Conciliation and Mediation Board Regional Branch No. IV-A.

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis- Baldoz bared this yesterday after she received a report from NCMB Executive Director Reynaldo Ubaldo about the settlement.

“Being a union member has served Mr. Escorpiso well. He was protected from the unfortunate circumstance which befell him,” Baldoz commented.

She said conciliation and mediation opens avenues for dialogue and cooperation based on the spirit of mutual respect, and “addresses issues without resorting to long and drawn litigation” that hurts workers and enterprises.

Ubaldo reported that the Federation of Free Workers-Columbia Wire and Cable Union Chapter, to which Escorpiso belonged, filed a preventive mediation case against the company on 26 February on account of unfair labor practice. It alleged that the management refused to allow Escorpiso to return to work after he suffered from an accident.

The Federation of Free Workers-Columbia Wire and Cable Union Chapter is the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of the 145 rank-and-file employees of the company. It is headed by Daniel Valencia, union president.

Unfair labor practice, under Article 247 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, is defined as the violation of the constitutional right of workers and employees to self-organization which is inimical to the legitimate interest of both labor and management, including their right to bargain collectively and otherwise deal with each other in an atmosphere of freedom and mutual respect, disrupt industrial peace and hinder the promotion of healthy and stable labor-management relations.

Ubaldo said the National Conciliation and Mediation Board Regional Branch No. IV-A, through Director Amorsolo Aglibut, facilitated the conciliation-mediation of the dispute.

“The union stressed that the act of the management in not allowing Escorpiso to return to work without justifiable reason is tantamount to unfair labor practice and in gross violation of his constitutional right,” explained Ubaldo.

“On the other hand, the management asserted that the employee can no longer perform the work assigned to him due to the injuries he had suffered from the accident. The act of the company was only to protect the worker from further injury and to ensure that he be granted the commensurate social security benefits he deserved,” Ubaldo added.

During the conference on 30 April, the parties agreed to settle the issue. The management and the union mutually and satisfactorily agreed that in order to prevent further damage to the health and safety of the worker; the company granted Escorpiso a retirement/severance/separation benefit and financial assistance amounting to P966,388.56 and the union set aside the claim for reinstatement.

“Both parties agreed that this was the best possible solution favourable to both,” said Ubaldo.

Columbia Wire and Cable Corporation is a company engaged in the manufacture of wires and cables. Its plant is located at 75 Howmart Road, Bo. Kangkong, Baesa, Quezon City. It has 175 workers and is owned Jimmy Tan.

END/ Stella P. Bañares

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