Planters bank employees stage protest for new CBA, vs workers’ termination
MANILA, Philippines — Employees of the Planters Development Bank (PDB) staged a protest outside their Makati office on Wednesday night, after the bank’s management reportedly turned down collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and terminated 11 of its employees.
Holding candles placed in paper cups with the words “Sahod, Trabaho at Karapatan Ipaglaban,” 20 PDB employees picketed in front of the bank’s main office along HV Dela Costa Street and staged a noise barrage to mark the day when the PDB Employees Association (PDBEA) filed a notice of strike at the Department of Labor and Employment.
PDBEA president Mark Olivarez told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the PDB management told them that they would not anymore negotiate with the union for their CBA in view of an impending merger with China Bank Savings (CBS).
“We are not against the merger but we know it is still in its initial phase. It is not final so we think the company should first resolve CBA negotiations, which have been ongoing since July last year,” Olivarez explained.
Last December 2013, PDB, which has more than 900 employees nationwide, was acquired by the Henry Sy-owned CBS.
He added that the negotiations should proceed with the CBA recognized prior to the merger. The employees need an improvement in their benefits to be able to support the daily needs of their families, according to Olivarez.
The employees also slammed the termination of 11 tenured employees of the company, mostly messengers and janitors, last December 29, on the assessment that their positions have become “redundant” and not regular in the CBS.
“They are trying to offer employees a retire and rehire process because they plan to lower our existing salaries and benefits,” added the PDBEA president.
He claimed that the termination of employees and the retire-rehire process would bust the union. “This is illegal and we’ll stand together against it,” Olivarez noted.
Asked about their plans after filing the Notice of Strike, he said that they would try to consolidate their members nationwide.
“We will also ask help from the clients and customers of our bank in sending our demands to the management,” he said.
Olivarez said DOLE has scheduled an initial hearing conference for next week when the union and the management could meet together with DOLE representatives. SFM
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