June 24, 2012 in Cordillera
By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — There was no opposition filed to the candidacy of the incumbent officers of the Lepanto Employees Union-National Federation of Labor Unions (LEU-NAFLU-KMU) in Lepanto Mines in Mankayan, Benguet.
Seeking reelection in the local elections (LE), LEU President Manuel Binhaon Jr. said that the people behind the creation of a new union who challenged them to a Certification Election (CE) cannot run for any union position.
He explained that their petition for CE is still pending as LEU has filed a motion for its dismissal. LEU said that the petition was filed before the 60 day freedom period prior to an LE or a CE, or a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the union and the management starts.
He said that if only the people of Local Lepanto Employees Union (LLEU) waited for their time, then they could have filed their candidacy to run for any position. “Now, we run unopposed,” he continued.
Binhaon said they had thought of imposing disciplinary action against the LEU members who were behind the LLEU but they took advise to be considerate in the spirit of camaraderie in the workplace.
The mine workers trooped to designated voting places yesterday, June 23. Binhaon said that during the campaign period, they seriously visited their constituents in the different bunkhouses and workers’ communities. “Even though we had no opponents, we explained to the workers that it is their right to go out and vote for their leaders as this is part of the democratic process in a true union,” he said in Iloko.
According to Binhaon, the LLEU argued that the 24th CBA had already expired and the 25th was not yet registered. LLEU also claimed having more members than LEU as more mine workers are dissatisfied with the existing union.
Binhaon explained that the 25th CBA is actually the renegotiated 24th CBA. He said that the 402 out of 678 members LLEU is claiming is only a list and they did not even affix their signatures on any of LLEU’s documents or minutes. He said that even in their last meeting only 87 attended where most of them were not union members nor employees of the company.
Binhaon stressed that the members of LEU trust the union. He said that there are only few people who are instigating an atmosphere of breaking away from KMU for being a progressive and militant union. He added the people behind the plot to change the union only want to test their influence over the union in the mine site.
If the petition for CE of LLEU will be granted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Binhaon said they will appeal again to the higher court and the new batch of union officers shall work to consolidate their ranks and prepare for the CE in November. # nordis.net