Labor group kicks out Ernesto Herrera
Long-time secretary general Ernesto Herrera of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines was formally expelled from the labor group, the TUCP said Tuesday.
The TUCP executive board, headed by president Democrito Mendoza, passed a resolution on March 7 ousting Herrera and two affiliate member organizations – the Alyansa ng Manggagawang Pilipinong Organisado (Amapo) and the Philippine Federation of Labor – for violating article VIII, section 4, of the TUCP constitution which refers to betrayal, dishonesty and acts inimical to the interest of the group.
The resolution was concurred in by the TUCP general council on the same day, making it final and closed to appeal.
Herrera’s expulsion was the latest chapter in the leadership struggle between two factions of the TUCP, said to be the largest trade union confederation in the country.
Mendoza vs Herrera
The struggle was triggered by the resignation of Mendoza as TUCP president, which he later revoked after Herrera took over.
The two camps have been issuing separate press statements about labor issues.
TUCP assistant general secretary and spokesperson, lawyer Hernan Nicdao, who is allied with the Mendoza camp, said the board “strictly observed due process” and gave the parties enough time and chances to air their side.
“The parties concerned failed to counter the allegations leveled against them and Mr. Herrera even questioned the legitimacy of the presidency of Mr. Mendoza, who is our longest serving leader,” Nicdao said.
Nicdao said the TUCP board and council did not accept Mendoza’s resignation and were able to convince him to serve out his term, which will end in December.
In a complaint, a TUCP affiliate, the Associated Labor Union-Metal, said Herrera was supposed to represent it in the congress. The ALU said, however, that Herrera revealed to it only last November that he had been elected president of Amapo back in September 2010.
The ALU said the Amapo and PFL leaders Roberto Flores and Alejandro Villavisa had known all along about Herrera’s election to Amapo but concealed it from the TUCP leadership. Because of this, Flores and Villavisa were also expelled and all Amapo and PFL members dropped from the TUCP rolls.
Herrera, in a phone interview, insisted that he was the legal president of the TUCP and that Mendoza and his allies were illegitimate officers so all their actions were also illegal.
“They’re not recognized. All they’re saying are deceit and garbage,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Herrera, a former senator, said he was merely an “honorary president” of Amapo and had no executive powers. He said being president concurrently of unions that make up the TUCP was not a violation of the federation’s constitution.
Herrera said the Brussels-based International Trade Union Confederation, which has an Asia Pacific regional office in Singapore, had been investigating the dispute.
He said the matter may also be brought to the Department of Labor and Employment, which has jurisdiction over intra-union and inter-union disputes.
Originally posted: 7:37 pm | Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
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