BAGUIO CITY (Sept. 29) — After staging two strikes and signing three Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs), the employees of the Philippine Rabbit Bus Line (PRBL) are still unfairly paid despite a motion of execution issued by the National Labor Relations Commission of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Rabbit bus workers alleged that the management deceived them to sign waivers of quit claims.
“Once we sign the quit claim, the company can use it against us to avoid paying our wages. They are really hell bent to deceive us and evade their obligations,” a worker who requested anonymity said.
According to Philippine Rabbit Bus Employees Union (PRBEU), they filed a complaint at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB)-DOLE-Region 3 for non-payment of employees’ wages. The workers won the case and the NCMB lifted it to the NLRC-DOLE.
The company in its third MOA with the workers promised to pay the workers’ wages who were not paid since May and implement the second MOA, but the company did not comply prompting the NLRC Regional Arbiter to issue a Writ of Execution, which ordered DOLE sheriff to seize four PRBL buses. The buses will be publicly auctioned and the proceeds will be given to the workers.
PRBEU staged two strikes in 2003 and 2004. The first strike was due to unpaid wages and benefits and non-remittance of Social Security Services (SSS) monthly contributions. The strike lasted from October to the first week of December 2003. The strike ended with the signing of a MOA where the workers and the management agreed that the former be paid.
The workers staged the second strike because the company refused to implement the MOA and the provisions in their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The strike was staged in March until October of 2004 and ended with the signing of a second MOA.
The company, however failed to implement the MOA and instead continued its unfair labor practices. # Aldwin Quitasol for NORDIS