[Press Release] Youth demand DOLE to disclose results of their investigation of SM -SPARK

Youth demand DOLE to disclose results of their investigation of SM

SPARK KabataanMore than a month after a mandatory conference was held between the management of SM Supermalls and the labor department to investigate allegations of labor-only contracting, a youth group demanded from the agency to disclose its findings on the extent of contractual employment being exercised in the retail giant’s operations.

The Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) in a statement said that, “A month is more than enough to ascertain the extent and gravity of the 5-5-5 employment scheme in SM and make it public. The DOLE is duty-bound to disclose the results of its investigation since the perverse practice of contractualization has been going on at SM for the past three decades and is only now that anomalies are being unraveled”.

Before the said conference, the Bureau of Working Conditions, an agency under the labor department asked SM Supermalls to submit its organizational chart to address the issue of regularization and labor standards after officials estimated that SM has violated labor standards.

The group fears that a prolonged release of the report may result in a whitewash, utilizing legal loopholes in order for SM to maintain its high profitability and confidence of its investors.

“It is no secret that SM pioneered the circumvention of labor rights to the point that contractualization has become the common employment practice in the retail industry and has been replicated by thousands of other companies in other industrial lines”, says SPARK spokesperson Jade Lyndon Mata, a three-time five month sales utility clerk at different branches of SM Supermalls.

Mata likewise rebuked the SM management for insisting that it is compliant with all labor regulations even if Secretary Bebot Bello of the labor department himself revealed that the retail giant has violated labor standards.

The group alleges that many former SM employees complain that besides undermining their right to security of tenure despite performing ‘usually necessary and desirable‘ in the daily operation of its malls its employees receive only half of their supposed overtime pay and that many of the manpower agencies that SM engages with fail to reimburse employee cash bonds that were deducted from their measly wages.

“The continued attempts by the top honchos of SM to gloss over their anomalous yet surreptitious employment schemes manifest their business-as-usual attitude despite persistent calls to abolish all forms of contractual employment and heavy-worded pronouncements by no less than President (Rodrigo) Duterte.”

SPARK vowed to rigorously campaign for the abolition of contractualization and demand indemnification for decades of exploitation inflicted on its workers.#

12 November 2016
Contact person: Jade Lyndon Mata 0935-1449575

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