Clark airport workers assert security of tenure
CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga, Philippines — The labor dispute at the state-owned Clark International Airport Corp. (Ciac) continues even after airport officials asked Labor Secretary Silvestro Bello III to assume jurisdiction of the conflict in January to stop a workers’ strike.
The union of Ciac employees has challenged Bello’s order that ruled on terms pertaining to the workers’ transfer to the private consortium, Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp. (Lipad).
Lipad took over the operations and maintenance of Clark International Airport (CRK) on July 21.
Unfair labor practice
Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (SMD) filed a motion for reconsideration on July 19 questioning Bello’s finding that Ciac did not commit unfair labor practice.
It rejected the separation incentive package he set at 150 percent of basic monthly salary per year of service and his order to Ciac to pay benefits to affected workers under the 2006-2010 collective bargaining agreement (CBA). In its 18-page appeal, SMD asked for a grant of 175 percent instead, citing a CBA provision.
Jaime Melo, Ciac president, said the agency would follow Bello’s order “on separation [incentive package].”
The union argued that the supposed illegal outsourcing, through privatization, resulted in union busting and illegal termination, which were considered an unfair labor practice under the Labor Code and prohibited under the Department of Labor and Employment’s Department Order No. 174.
Asserting their members’ security of tenure, the union contested Bello’s view that its 164 members “may be absorbed as probationary employees of Lipad as the latter’s management prerogative.”
SMD said the corrective measures in the cases of illegal dismissal and union busting should be “separation pay and regular employment.”
“All affected workers will be absorbed by Lipad. [There would be] no reduction in remuneration or benefits,” Melo said.
He did not answer when asked if Ciac would retain the workers’ regular employment status. —Tonette Orejas
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