DOLE approves daily wage hike for Dolefil workers

Tomas Biboso, director of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board in Southwestern  Mindanao (Region 12) , said he personally delivered the decision of Labor Secretary Arturo Brion to Dolefil managing director Kevin Davis and union president Jose Teruel, Jr. last Saturday in nearby Polomolok, South Cotabato where the firm maintains its production plant.

“I’m going to meet the management and labor union officials later today (Tuesday) to know if the decision of the Labor secretary sits well with them,” Biboso said.  The Labor Secretary assumed jurisdiction of the row between management and the labor union last September.

The labor union had asked for 10% daily wage increase for three years, while Dolefil’s counter offer was 2.4% increase on the first year, 2.6% on the second year and 2.8% on the third year.

Brion did not agree to 10% increase but doubled management’s counter-offer.

Biboso said Labor department also approved one full-time union officer – the president –  whose salary shall be shouldered by company. The union had asked for three full officers while the company offered only one.

“If both sides agree [with the decision] we will go on into the signing of their new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement),” he added.

For research and education fund,  Brion approved P1 million for three years. The union had asked for P1.3 million while the management offered only P500,000.

For rice allowances, the Labor department ordered the firm to course the assistance through the union. The management had wanted to give the monetary rice assistance directly to the employees.

But Biboso said that when he delivered the document to Dolefil management on Saturday, Davis appeared to be unhappy and was quoted to have said the decision “would cost the company a lot of money.”

Later that day, Biboso went to see officials of the Asosasyon sa mga Mamumuo sa Dole Alang sa Kalinaw Demokratikong Nasud- (AMADO-KADENA) National Federation of Labor Unions- Kilusang Mayo Uno but he said he failed to get a comment from them.

Teruel, AMADO-KADENA president, said the Labor department’s decision “was favorable to the management.”

Despite Teruel’s pronouncement, however, more than 3,000 of the 5,300-strong union members ratified in a general assembly the decision of the Labor department, a local television station reported today.

Biboso appeared to be unaware of this development as he pointed out that both sides can still appeal the decision of the Labor secretary.

If both sides will not appeal the decision, Biboso said he will immediately facilitate the signing of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. (MindaNews)