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September 3, 2008

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KMU-Cordillera Condemns Termination of Shipside Employees

On August 27, 2008, the Department of Labor and Employment-Cordillera Administrative Region (DOLE-CAR), finally granted the long awaited decision regarding the Petition for Certification Election by the Shipside, Incorporated Employees Union-National Federation of Labor Unions -Kilkusang Mayo Uno (SEU-NAFLU-KMU).

Both the representatives of the Union and Management agreed upon that the election proper will set on the 10th day of September 2008 and the preliminary conference regarding the election proper will be on the 2nd day of September, 2008.

The decision in favour to the employees of the Shipside, Incorporated gave hope to the workers for a just living salary and benefits, security of tenure, and recognition of their rights and welfare.

However, as the SEU-NAFLU-KMU officers and members were preparing for the Consent Election on Sept. 10, 2008, the management of the Shipside, Incorporated coercedly and illegally terminated the duly elected seven (7) Executive officers and five (5) Board of Directors and more or less thirty (30) members. They forced them to accept and sign the termination letter issued to them against their will.

This is a clear manifestation of Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) or Union Busting by the Shipside, Incorporated. Art. 248 of the Labor Code states "To interfere with, restrain and or coerce employees in the exercise of their right to Self-Organization", and Art. 263 of the Labor Code that says "Illegal dismissal of Union Officers duly elected in accordance with the union's Constitution and By-laws."

We,the SEU-NAFLU-KMU together with the NAFLU-KMU Mankayan and Cordillera strongly condemn the management of the Shipside, Incorporated on the following grounds:

That on August 30-31', 2008, the company issued a letter and/or waiver to the officers and members of the SEU-NAFLU-KMU stating in ilocano " Siak ____________ chapa No._________position ____________ nga empleado ti Shipside Incorporated LMD-UG ket haan nga pabor ti bokboklen dagiti kakadua nga union ket kayat co pay nga agtrabaho ti Shipside Incorpotated LMD-UG Mining Contract, nu panagbubutos nu September 10, 2008, iti Certification of Election ket isurat ko ti union". This is a violation of Art. 248 of the Labor Code interference of the worker's right to self-organization as mandated also in the Phil. Constitution.

That on August 30-31, 2008, the Company forcedly issued a termination letter to those who refuse to accept and sign the letter and/or waiver stated above;
That the employees of the SHIPSIDE INCORPORATED had signed a three month (3) contract to the company from August - October 2008, and while the contract has not been finish the company terminated its employees with no due reason.

These desperate moves of the management to stop us in our long-awaited Certification Election are blatant suppression to assert our rights to self organization, security of tenure and just living wage.
Furthermore, we strongly condemn the State Policy of Labor Only Contracting, curtailing our legitimate and democratic rights as workers to Security of Tenure.

Yes to Union. Yes to the regularization of all Shipside Incorporated employees. Stop Union Busting. Advance genuine Trade Unionism. Assert our rights to just and living wage, security of tenure and self organization. We also call on our fellow mining workers and workers in the Cordillera to support us in this struggle. #

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