By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — Lepanto Employees Union-National Federation of Labor Unions-Kilusang Mayo Uno (LEU-NAFLU-KMU) President Manuel Binhaon Jr. belied the claim of a newly formed union of having more members than the KMU affiliate he heads.
In a document of the Lepanto Local Employees Union (LLEU), to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) office it listed a membership of 402 out of 678 rank-and-file employees of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. (LCMC).
LLEU claimed that the figure shows that the incumbent union has lost the support and confidence of the rank-and-file.
“The number of petitioner’s (LLEU) members glaringly speaks of the fervent clamor of the rank and file employees to select a bargaining agent of their free choice;” stated their comment to the assertion submitted by the LEU-NAFLU-KMU .
Meanwhile, LEU-NAFLU-KMU filed for the dismissal of LLEU petition for a certification election (PCE) to determine the legitimate union in the mine site of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMC) in Mankayan, Benguet with the Bureau of Labor Relations of the Department of Labor and Employment (BLR-DOLE).
LEU-NAFLU-KMU also contested the petition for CE by LLEU as it was filed outside the freedom period of the 24th Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) made with the management of LCMC.
The Freedom period is defined as the last 60 days of a valid CBA between the union and the management. LLEU argued that the 24th CBA has already lapsed and has already been superseded by the 25th CBA.
According to Binhaon, the effectivity of the 24th CBA which was entered into between the management and the LEU-NAFLU-KMU in March 2008 is five years. He explained that the 25th CBA, is the renegotiated 24th CBA signed on July 2010 that lasts until July 2012.
Binhaon said that the 402 members claimed by LLEU is actually a listing and not a signed petition to prove that they willingly joined the new union.
He also said that he has talked with many workers to verify if there were organizational meetings held to set up LLEU, and “they said there is none,” Binhaon commented.
Binhaon, observed, that it seems the people behind the LLEU just met among themselves and not with the rank and file members.
He said for one to gather signatures to amend the Union’s constitution and by laws or approve resolutions or petitions, general assemblies or meetings has to be called and attended by the union officers and members.
The union president said that they are taking legal steps to debunk the claims of LLEU and to have their PCE dismissed. He said that they are also considering some actions against the people behind the LLEU in accordance to the constitution and by laws of the Lepanto Employees Union Naflu-KMU. # nordis.net