DAVAO CITY – Members of the LBC Davao Employees Union here demanded an explanation from the management why the latter refuses to give the “workers’ share” which resulted in a deadlock of the collective bargaining negotiations on March 16.

On Monday (April 13), the workers staged another protest action outside the LBC Claveria Davao branch to decry the management’s “bullying” of union members.

Butch Gajudo, president of the union said that two days after their breaktime picket on March 24 at the LBC Express Delivery Hub in Sasa, Davao City, the management issued a “notice to explain” memorandum signed by Area Manager Lady Ann Mallari urging  him to explain why workers who joined the breaktime picket should not be sanctioned for conducting among others, “illegal strike, illegal assembly, and disrupting ongoing CBA negotiations.”

“The management has also subjected union members to a formal investigation scheduled on April 15 in relation to their alleged infractions,” Gajudo said, calling the memo a form of harassment that violates the workers’ right to organize and freedom of expression.

As a response to the memo, the union came up with their own memorandum, demanding LBC management “to explain to the workers and the public why it could not provide benefits improvement costing P3.154 M when it has netted an income of P56.86M for the last two years.”

Negotiations between the LBC management and the union began on November last year. Since then, the management sticks to its three percent salary increase proposal as oppose to the 15% increase demanded by the workers.

The union’s original proposal on wage and other benefits include 15% salary increase;  six days vacation leave; seven days sick leave; educational assistance; union leave; 14th month bonus; and signing bonus.

On the day of the CBA deadlock, the union reduced their wage proposal to seven percent.

“LBC Management is a mass producer of “notice to explain” memos to union members. It is obsessed with distributing these memos with the clear intent of causing panic and alarm among union members so they will no longer fight for their rights, including the right to a just collective bargaining agreement,” Gajudo said.

“But the more relevant explanation should come from LBC management: why are you depriving us of our just share?” Gajudo said.

Gajudo also claimed that the LBC management is implementing policies that “constitute unfair labor practice, including the performance management system (PMS) which provides a separate benefits scheme for non-unionized rank and file workers.”

“Workers under the PMS scheme get a 14th month pay and educational assistance while union members do not,” Gajudo said.

“The PMS scheme is not only discriminatory, it is a divide-and-rule tactic that  violates workers’ right to organize and is geared at busting the union at LBC Davao. It is also a flagrant form of contractualization that will eventually result to a workplace with no regular workers and no union,” added Gajudo.

The union said that they will continue to hold concerted mass actions until LBC Davao breaks the deadlock by yielding to their demands. (davaotoday.com)

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