Bacolod labor unions support bus firms’ creators in family feud
BACOLOD CITY –– Leaders of the labor unions in the largest bus transportation group based in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental have thrown their support to Leo Rey Yanson, who was ousted by his siblings as company president, and family matriarch Olivia Yanson.
Both Philippine Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Workers Union (PACIWU)-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines and PACIWU-Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI), acknowledged Leo Rey and Olivia as creators of the bus firms.
“Please cease and desist from using force or any abrupt takeover of the management or administration of these companies, which will create tension or confusion and disturbance of industrial peace,” they said.
“Until the final resolution of the matter is out, union members and employees of the company shall comply with the orders and directives of the status quo company,” they added.
The joint statement was signed by Hernani Braza, national PACIWU-TUCP president; and Franny Santarin, head of PACIWU-Vallacar Transit Inc.
They also urged the Yansons to settle their differences before the union members could feel the hopelessness of working in an environment of confusion.
The two PACIWU officials also led the more than 2,000 employees in a gathering at the Yanson beach house in Talisay City, Negros Occidental on Tuesday morning to pledge support to Leo Rey and Olivia.
The Mindanao Alliance of Land Transport and General Workers Union also expressed their “unqualified and total support” for Leo Rey and his management team.
They vehemently condemned the unprecedented move of the new management team to unseat Leo Rey.
The battle of the Bacolod-based Yanson siblings for control of the family’s multi-billion peso transportation empire escalated on Sunday.
Leo Rey was ousted as president of Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI), Bachelor Express Inc., Rural Transit Mindanao Inc., Sugbo Transit Express Inc., and Mindanao Star Business
The firms are part of the Yanson Group of Bus Companies, which altogether operates a fleet of at least 4,800 buses nationwide, and employs some 18,000 workers around the country.
Leo Rey, who assailed the takeover as illegal, was replaced by his elder brother, Roy, who was allied with their other siblings, Lourdes Celina Yanson-Lopez, Emily Yanson, and Ricardo Yanson.
Leo Rey is allied with Ginnette Yanson Dumancas, as well as the family matriarch, who was also removed from the companies’ boards.
Sheila Sison, Roy’s lawyer, said the takeover was a result of a special meeting of the board members, who also replaced the corporate officers, to ensure a seamless transition of the transport firm’s administration.
In a separate statement, Leo Rey said he did not recognize the “illegal actions” of his siblings since it didn’t comply with the requirements of the Corporation Code and/or the By-Laws of VTI.
“The removal was only done through a special meeting of
which the election/removal of the president was not even included in the agenda,” Leo Rey said.
But Sison said there was an incident that triggered the special board meeting, “but we cannot disclose the particular incident, as we’re treating it as private company matter.”
Sison said Leo Rey simply lost the trust and confidence of the board.
Olivia and Dumancas, who were said to be out of the country, could not be reached for comment. (Editor: Leti Z. Boniol)