By ALDWIN QUITASOL
MANKAYAN, Benguet — The mine workers of the Lepanto Mine Division of the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMCo) staged a picket at the general office of the company management to demand a stop to the extended work-rotation scheme and other unfair labor practices.
Lepanto Employees Union-National Federation of Labor Unions-Kilusang Mayo Uno (LEU-NAFLU-KMU) President Manny Binhaon Jr. called on management to heed the demands of its workers who are working very hard. Binhaon said the union has talked with management many times about their issues but only a few were addressed.
Binhaon said they want the work rotation be stopped as it has already exceeded the allowable time of its implementation. According to an advisory of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on the adoption of flexible work arrangements to guide employers and workers in the private sector on implementation of mutually acceptable work schedules as a measure against the adverse impact of the global financial crisis, the reduction of work days wherein the normal workdays per week are reduced should not last more than six months.
The work rotation in Lepanto was implemented on November 1, 2008 as part of the flexible arrangements affecting both the underground and the surface workers.
There are 2,015 workers but according to Binhaon, only 250 of them are on the work rotation. He complained that the work rotation is actually a workforce reduction.
Binhaon said besides the work rotation is the long delayed payroll and if there was any payment, the company gave in installment.
He added that LCMCo also did not fully pay for their 13th-month pay. The company also failed to pay the retirement pay of retired former employees.
Lepanto Security Force Union (LSFU)-NAFLU-KMU President Pablito Sicdoy said the management up to now is not paying its employees’ SSS and Pag-ibig premiums. “Gapu ta saan a mabaybayadan, ket saan tayo a makaala kadagiti benepisyo koma iti SSS kas ti panag-loan ken dadduma pay,”(Because our SSS and Pag-ibig premiums were not remitted, we could not enjoy the benefits from SSS and Pag-ibig like loan and others) Sicdoy added.
In a statement which was read during the picket, Anakbayan-Lepanto demanded that the company stop delaying the salary of their fathers.
“Nalabes unayen ti ar-aramiden daytoy a kumpanya kadatayo, apektado kami a kabataan kadagiti nabayagen a problema dagiti amma mi. Manipud idi nagrugi ti panag-delay ken panag-partial ti suweldo, adun kadakami nga annak ti mangmangged ti nagsardeng nga agiskwela nakarkaro pay idi adda dayta a work rotation. Kasanon ngay garud ti masakbayan mi nga ubbing? Apay a taktakawen ti Lepanto dagiti naglingling-etan dagiti amma mi?,” (What this company is doing to us is too much, we are much affected because of the problems of our fathers. Since the delay in the payment of our fathers’ wages, many of us quit school especially when the work rotation scheme started. What will be our future then? Why is Lepanto robbing us of the fruit of our fathers’ labor?) said the Anakbayan statement.
Irene Dipigen of the Tignayan dagiti Babbai iti Minasan a Lepanto (TBML) condemned the unfair treatment of LCMCo of its workers. Dipigen also said that the wives of Lepanto workers are hard up in budgeting their husbands’ partial salaries. She commented on the Safety First logo of the company. She said Lepanto should know the meaning of safety where the Lepanto should also see to it that its employees will eat to be healthy.
The management representative, Knestor Jose Y. Godino, Human Resource Management and Development nmanager promised to note down the workers’ issues and concerns to be included in the agenda of the next management meeting in LCMCo’s main office in Makati City.
Binhaon threatened to hold weekly delegations and even call for much wider support from different groups and organizations if management did not keep its promise. # nordis.net