As cabinet meets to deal with traffic problem:
Labor group demands that DOLE relax rules on tardy workers
With the cabinet meeting today to deal with the grave traffic problem in Metro Manila, the labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) demanded that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issue rules to protect workers who are late for work due to traffic.
“With employers seemingly cool to our proposal not to penalize tardy workers stuck in traffic, we petition the DOLE to mandate new rules so that employees are not punished for a problem that they have no control over and the government has no solution yet,” insisted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.
Last week PM proposed the following steps:
1. Grace period of 30 minutes
2. No warning or infraction if three or more workers are late due to traffic
3. No pay cut, offset through additional time worked
4. Shuttle buses for establishments with 200 or more workers
Magtubo averred that “It is well within the powers of the DOLE to issue rules on tardiness due to traffic as it also makes industrial regulations in times of power or economic crisis. Traffic is no less a pressing concern for workers as it impacts on their work-life balance and also employers as it affect their productivity.”
He added that “At the very least DOLE should call a tripartite conference of representatives of workers, employers and government so that the parties can agree on concrete steps to deal with the industrial implications of traffic congestion, including protection for workers who are late due to traffic.”
Media reported that officials of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines were opposed to the proposals of PM. “Since employers are unwilling to meet our sensible proposals, we encourage unions to negotiate with management for such measures in their collective bargaining agreements or table them in grievance procedures. We also call on employees without unions to directly petition their management. Until traffic congestion is substantially reduced, such remedial steps must remain in place to protect workers,” Magtubo argued.
PM is proposing that government provide for green, cheap, public mass transport system in Metro Manila and major cities as a long-term solution to the issue of traffic. Among other strategic solutions, the group insists that government invest and subsidize in efficient electric rail networks that must remain in public hands.
September 1, 2015
Contact Rene Magtubo @ 09178532905
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