[Statement] Reclaim Workers Dignity: Justice to DEU Workers
Reclaim Workers Dignity: Justice to DEU Workers
Vigilance at Latest Tripartite Hearing Stressed
Members of Digitel Employees Union (DEU) are currently engaged in a labor dispute against the telecommunication giant PLDT/DIGITEL, the outcome of which may redefine the enjoyment of labor rights of workers everywhere.
It has been forty two (42) days since April 10 that ninety three (93) members of DEU launched a peaceful protest in front of PLDT Main Office at Ayala, Makati City against the closure/redundancy by DIGITEL-PLDT implemented last February 7, 2013. Thirty six (36) days back, last April 16, some members led by DEU president Alan Licardo started a Hunger Strike to highlight their protest and plight at the hands of the PLDT/DIGITEL management.
According to PLDT, the closure was because of ‘end of life’ facilities of the latter, DIGITEL, and has earned telecommunication giant PLDT, P1.5 Billion in savings. Even former owner John Gokongwei got Php 1 Billion dividend in the last quarter of 2012, while PLDT earned Php 37 Billion net profit as a result of this business coup.
Indeed, the redundancy was merely a blind to render moot the earlier Supreme Court decision issued last January 21, 2013 that would have been a fitting end to almost twenty years of struggle with management to exercise the right of DEU to collectively bargain.
It also violates the Corporation Code (sec. 80) states that: The surviving or consolidated entity must, therefore, recognize the security of tenure and length of service of the workers of the merging or consolidating corporations.
DIGITEL is not losing money and their jobs still exist. But rather than retain as regulars, workers were offered Early Retirement and Voluntary Resignation Programs (ERP/VRP) and were promised to be re-hired. Unfortunately, most of those who took a chance in availing ERP/VRP-Rehire program gave up their job security and benefits: some ended up working as contractuals under PLDT’s outsourcing companies like PeopleServe and ServeFlex; others “failed” to pass probationary employment; and, there are those who did not pass their medical tests. Only a handful got to actually work for PLDT.
These affected employees are engineers and multi-skilled technicians that come from various DIGITEL offices across Luzon, they are held hostage by this unlawful act of the management that jeopardized not only their means of livelihood but also the dreams of their children and the future of labor.
Last March 19, 2013, a WRIT OF EXECUTION was issued by Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz. The DOLE orders the commencement of Collective Bargaining Agreement and reinstatement of affected employees. In the meantime, PLDT-DIGITEL has continued to defy the order of the the Highest Court of the Philippines, making a mockery of the rule of law and the concept of justice.
Now there is an on-going tripartite hearing between PLDT-DIGITEL, DEU and mediated by DOLE, the workers will keep watch and be vigilant that justice for their fight be theirs and in so doing reclaim the dignity of labor, often sacrificed for profit. Their demand: give them back their regular jobs. Restore the pride and dignity of labor.
All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.
Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.