TUCP affiliate declared real union in bus firm
The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) has issued a ruling declaring the Philippine Trade and General Workers’ Organization (PTGWO) as the legitimate employees’ union of the Del Monte Land Transport Bus Co. (DLTBCo), a major bus firm that plies routes from Metro Manila to Southern Luzon provinces.
This followed a strike in December last year launched by another workers’ group, the Alliance of Genuine Labor Organizations (Aglo), which claimed to be the legitimate employees’ union.
In a 14-page decision dated Feb. 9, the Dole regional office in Calabarzon recognized DLTB-PTGWO, led by Erickson Rotoni, as the union legally representing the bus firm workers.
“The local union officers headed by Rotoni under DLTB-PTGWO are affirmed as the duly elected officers in representation of the rank-and-file employees of the DLTB,” said the decision signed by mediator arbiter Rosita Villaluz.
Last year, DLTB-Aglo members held a work stoppage, which affected the bus company’s operations in Southern Luzon during the holidays in December.
At the height of the strike, five buses were burned in Lemery, Batangas province, while drivers and conductors who did not want to join were reportedly harassed.
The DLTB management then filed an interpleader case to determine the legal standing of the DLTB-Aglo in its claim to represent the DLTB workers.
Rotoni and the DLTB-PTGWO officers were elected in August 2014, after which the workers signed a collective bargaining agreement with the management.
Aside from recognizing the DLTB-PTGWO, the Dole also directed the DLTBCo management to stop deducting union dues from the members of the DLTB-Aglo under a certain Ronald Austria.
Lawyer Hernan Nicdao, PTGWO general secretary, said actions like the work stoppage tarnished the image of labor unions and did not help in strengthening trade unionism.
“This five-year right of representation should always be respected to maintain industrial peace, which is one of the primary objectives of unionism,” Nicdao said in a statement.
The DLTBCo, as a result of the ruling, said it could now assure the riding public of uninterrupted service this Lenten season.
“The company is ready to meet all exigencies to serve the riding public,” lawyer Joyce Valeros, DLTBCo counsel, said in a phone interview on Friday.
In a statement, the DLTBCo management said the ruling should put to rest questions on which union really represents the bus firm workers.
It said, however, that despite the Dole order, Aglo “continues to threaten DLTBCo.”
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