Clark supervisors want CDC to honor CBA | Inquirer News
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Clark supervisors want CDC to honor CBA

/ 11:03 PM December 07, 2012

CLARK FREEPORT—Which is more powerful? The Labor Code or the Government Owned or Controlled Corporations Governance Act of 2011 and President Benigno Aquino’s executive orders that go with it?

There is yet no final answer, but a group of supervisors of the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) has put this to test by demanding that CDC honor its collective bargaining agreement (CBA), worth P6 million, with workers.

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The Association of Clark Development Corp. Supervisory Personnel (ACSP) has won the first round, with the government’s accredited voluntary arbitrator, lawyer Froilan Bacungan, ordering the CDC on Nov. 5 to implement the CBA that, signed in March 2012, would have increased workers’ salaries after five years.

Because the CDC did not comply with the order, Bacungan called for a hearing on Nov. 28. But CDC officials walked out in protest of the arbitrator’s refusal to grant a motion by state counsels.

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The CDC froze the CBA after the Governance Commission on GOCCs (GCG) informed the base conversion body that “CBAs between employees and GOCC employers may no longer be negotiated” in light of Executive Order No. 7 and the GOCC Governance Act of 2011 (Republic Act No. 10149).

Cesar Villanueva, chair of the GCG, said this in reply to a query of CDC chair Eduardo Oban.

“Being no longer a subject for negotiation, such CBAs are furthermore taken out of the jurisdiction of arbitration proceedings and hence effectively (are) no longer a proper subject in such proceedings,” Villanueva said in a Sept. 27 letter to Oban.

He said that under RA 10149, enacted in May 2011, GOCCs would have a compensation and position classification system (CPCS).

Reached by the Inquirer, Oban said Villanueva informed him that the CPCS was scheduled to be finished in September 2013 after consultations and workshops.

“But the rule is that there would be no diminution of salaries and benefits,” Oban said.

Victor Barbieto, ACSP president, said the GOCC Governance Act and Mr. Aquino’s executive orders are “being used to suppress the absolute rights of legitimate workers.”

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Bacungan directed the Department of Labor and Employment to ensure that the CDC would follow his order, mainly on giving salary increases, personal economic relief allowance and other benefits agreed upon in the CBA.

The CDC took the case to the Court of Appeals, seeking a temporary restraining order on the implementation of the CBA.

“It looks like Christmas will be bleak for us,” said Barbieto, referring to 69 members of the ACSP. Their case has bearings on the CBA implementation of 300 members of the Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (SMD) and the CBA negotiation of the 600-strong Association of Concerned CDC Employees (Access).

The SMD signed a CBA with the Clark International Airport Corp. in July 2010. The five-year CBA of Access with CDC is due to expire this year. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

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TAGS: Clark Development Corp., Labor, labor code
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