Union leaders appeal to Yanson family to reconcile for 18,000 workers’ sake
BACOLOD CITY – “Settle your differences.”
This was the appeal of union leaders to the Yanson family amid a feud over control of the multi-billion peso transportation empire.
Roland de la Cruz, senior national executive vice president of the Philippine Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Workers Union-Trade Union of Congress of the Philippines (Paciwu-TUCP), said the Yanson siblings and their mother must end their dispute for the sake of their 18,000 employees.
“In the battle of the siblings for control of the Yanson group of bus companies, the ones who will be affected the most will be ordinary employees,” he said.
De la Cruz and seven other union leaders from Visayas and Mindanao, in a press conference in Bacolod City, pledged their support to Leo Rey Yanson, whom they acknowledged as the legitimate president of the Yanson bus firms.
The battle of the Bacolod-based Yanson siblings for control of the family’s multi-billion peso transportation business escalated on Sunday.
In separate press statements, the board of directors of Vallacar Transit Inc., Bachelor Express Inc., Rural Transit Mindanao Inc., Sugbo Transit Express Inc., and Mindanao Star Business Transit Inc. announced on Sunday the appointment of Roy Yanson as the new president of the five companies, replacing younger brother Leo Rey.
Roy’s takeover was a result of a special board meeting, said his lawyer Sheila Sison.
The board also replaced the corporate officers to ensure a seamless transition of the transport firm’s administration.
In a separate press statement, Leo Rey said he did not recognize the “illegal actions” of his siblings Roy, Emily and Ricardo Yanson, and Ma. Lourdes Celina Lopez.
The actions of his four siblings, he said, did not comply with the requirements of the Corporation Code and/or the By-Laws of VTI.
“The removal was done only through a special meeting of which the election/removal of the president was not even included in the agenda,” Leo Rey said.
Jose Ares, founder and administrator of the Mindanao Alliance of Land Transport and General Workers Union, called on Roy to step down for the sake of their late father.
“We are calling on RSY to do a heroic act of saving the peace and the unity of the family. Their mother (Olivia) is already old and there might not be time anymore,” he said.
“This is more of a moral issue, it is unthinkable for children to disrespect their parent and for a mother to have to sue her children because we are trained to respect our parents, Ares added.
Last year, Olivia sued Roy, Emily, Celina, and Ricardo to demand her conjugal half and hereditary share from their multi-billion transportation empire that she co-owned with her late husband, Ricardo Yanson Sr., after she was informed that she no longer was a part of their companies’ operations.
“For the record, my lawyers are armed with proof to show that your depriving me of my conjugal half, and my waiver of my hereditary share in the estate of your late father, is nothing short of illegal and invalid. In fact, there is a status quo order of the honorable court directing that all transfers of real properties be held in abeyance,” Olivia said in a letter to her daughter, Celina.
Hernani Braza, PACIWU-TUCP national president, said the bulk of the bus firms employees remained loyal to Leo Rey whom they recognize as the legitimate president.
But they also urged the Yanson family to resolve their differences to ensure peace and stability for the employees of the bus firms.
He said even President Duterte, a family friend of the Yansons, tried to settle the dispute among the siblings and their mother several times but failed.
“That is why the unions are now intervening to urge Olivia and her children to settle their differences, they hope their hearts will be touched by the cry of their employees who have been instrumental in the growth of their bus empire, Braza said. /lzb
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