Salcon workers want group recognized, tenure secured or else they will stage strike
MEMBERS of the Salcon Power Independent Union (SPIU) said they will not push through with the planned strike that will paralyze Cebu’s power supply if management recognizes their union and their security of tenure, as guaranteed by the Constitution.
Noel Tolentino, SPIU secretary, led yesterday’s lunch-break protest against the management’s refusal to recognize them despite the certification by the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) that SPIU is the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of rank-and-file workers of SPC Power Corp.
“We are calling on the management to respect our right and recognize the union so the public will be spared from inconvenience,” Tolentino said in a press conference at the gate of the Naga Power Plant Complex.
He said they want to meet with management at the negotiating table, especially since Salcon of Singapore has sold its shares to Filipinos investors. This is the reason Salcon Power Corp. was changed to SPC Power Corp.
SPC, in a press release to Sun.Star Cebu last week, said it does not recognize SPIU at the moment because of the management’s pending petition for Dole to cancel its registration.
But Tolentino said Dole junked the petition in 2006, leading to the certification election on March 13, 2007 with an overwhelming majority that favored the union.
In fact, Tolentino said, Dole 7 issued a certification officially recognizing SPIU on March 22, 2007.
Based on the registration with Dole, Tolentino said SPIU has submitted to the management the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which highlights “security of tenure” as the main issue.
He said the draft CBA was addressed to SPC president Dennis Villareal and copy furnished to other SPC key officials: Reinerio Lastimoso, vice president for operation; Antonio Corpuz, chief operations officer; Alfredo Ballesteros, vice president for administration; and Jaime Balisacan, vice president for finance.
According to Tolentino, the management still refuses to recognize the union, prompting them to file a notice of strike last March 14 with the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB).
Under the law, there is a 30-day cooling off period.
Tolentino reminded SPC officials that the management’s refusal to recognize the union is “strikable” and the strike will push through if the NCMB fails to settle the dispute.
NCMB 7 Director Edmundo Mirasol has set another conciliation meeting between SPIU and SPC on March 28. (EOB)
(March 25, 2008 issue)
Click here for Sun Star news