Workers picket MisOr firm over unpaid salaries

TAGOLOAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews) – The remaining workers of Pacific Activated Carbon Company (PACCO) staged a picket starting today after a failed negotiation with the company for the full payment of their back salaries.

PACCO, a 20-year-old company located in Barangay Gracia owned by a certain Herman Montenegro is producing activated carbon from coconut charcoal.

The workers said PACCO owes them about P4 million in wages from November 11, 2011 to July this year.

Aaron Mabayo, president of PACCO’s workers’ union, said that they have been underpaid and that the management has forced them to have work leaves and retrenched a number of workers.

He said that that at times they were only paid P100 to P500 per week, which is roughly 75-percent less than their standard wages.

“They still did not pay our 13th month pay, no SSS (Social Security System payment), PhilHealth and and Pagibig remittances,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Region 10 said they have been monitoring the labor row at PACCO and that they have already made a series of investigations.

Atheneus Vasallo, officer-in-charge of DOLE’s legal service unit, said negotiations have taken place between the labor union and PACCO management represented by its manager Allan Fullosco.

“But the workers will not agree to some terms because they are insisting that the company pay their salaries first before entering into any agreement,” Vasallo said.

MindaNews made attempts to contact PACCO management, to no avail.

Vasallo, however, said that based on their investigation the company has claimed it was going bankrupt, citing its obligations to a number of creditors.

The workers said their picket in front of PACCO may take more days if necessary.

Only 60 of the firm’s 150 workers have remained in their work. (Nef Luczon/MindaNews)