Pizza hut employees win labor case, now back to work

MANILA, Philippines – “Salamat sa Diyos, at least pagkatapos kong manganak, may trabaho na ko ulit!”

[Thank you God, at least after I gave birth, I have a sure job again]

These were the emotional words of Rhea Robiso, a mother of three and the current spokesperson of Philippine Pizza Inc., Workers Union (PPIWU), after the agreement with the Philippine Pizza Inc., (PPI) was concluded on September 22, 2016 (Thursday).

Rhea said that after a month of sleepless night and anxiety, now she and his husband Nap could have a brighter future for their siblings and hopefully with their organization.

“Kahit paano, panatag na ang loob ng aming pamilya, pero syempre umpisa palang ulit ito ng panibagong pakikibaka. Dahil ang nakuha naming tagumpay sa ngayon ay makabalik sa trabaho, hindi pa namin nakukuha ang naunang kasong inihain namin, yung gawing kaming regular ng PPI,” Rhea disclosed to Center for People’s Media (CPM).

[At least we can say me and my family are at peace for now, but it is just the start of our new struggle. Because our first objective was to get our job back and we still need to continue the case we have filed, to be a regular employees of PPI]

LAWIN legal officer Atty. Joel Odio, who represented PPIWU in the case, said they highly appreciated the effort and services extended to them by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and DOLE Under-Secretary Joel Maglunsod.

“Sa tinggin ko ito ang pinakamabilis na kasong nahawakan ko. Mabilis ang naging aksyon ng DOLE, kaya ang PPI management naghain kaagad ng solusyon para maresolba ang problemang kanilang kinakaharap,” Atty Odio told to CPM.

[I think this is the quickest case I’ve handled so far. The prompt action of DOLE forced the PPI management to offer an immediate solution to resolve the problem they are facing]

Atty. Odio said that based on the agreement signed, the 200 plus employees that were terminated last month (August) will return to work, and that all pending cases at the DOLE will still continue.

The agreement stated that “the complainants shall be accepted back to their former work at Philippine Pizza Hut Inc., (PPI) through their employment by one of the independent contractors engaged by PPI within 10 days from today (Thursday-22 September) provided those who do not report for work are presumed to have opted to continue with their cases.”

The report also concluded that “It is understood that these complainants have existing cases against PPI for regularization and their resumption of work through one of the independent contractors shall be without prejudice to the outcome of all pending cases before all courts or quasi-judicial bodies.”

Atty. Odio said, the agreement is a win-win solution.

“Kahit walang back wages ang mga makakabalik sa trabaho, at least sigurado naman ang bawat manggagawa na may makukuha silang sweldo kada kinsenas at katapusan. Ang maganda sa napagkasunduan, sakaling manalo sa regularization case ang mga empleyado, igagalang ito ng PPI management,” Atty Odio added.

[Even if there is no back wages for those workers who will return for work, at least everyone is assured of a job and we can safely say they will receive their fifteen-thirty wages. The good thing about the agreement, if in case the regularization case wins, is that the PPI management will respect the decision]

The agreement explicitly stated that “in the event the existing cases are finally resolved in complainant’s favor, PPI shall immediately comply with such decision” and that “no retaliatory action of any form shall be imposed/initiated against the returning workers.”

Atty. Odio believes the case handled by LAWIN will set a possible precedents to other similar cases  filed and still pending at the DOLE, especially on labor-only contracting cases.

“Ang panalo namin ngayon ay panalo ng buong labor movement sa kabuuan. Bagamat maliit, masasabing kong tagumpay pa rin ito. Malaking tulong ang naging suporta ng bawat mga manggagawa, dahil kung walang suporta kaming nakuha sa hanay ng mga manggagawa, posibleng hindi ito pinakingan ng PPI management,” Atty Odio said.

[Our victory is the victory for the labor movement in general. Although our success is minimal, I can say it is still a success. I admit without the support of all the workers and labor organization to stage a series of protest, the PPI management might not even have heard the plight of PPIWU]

The signing was held at the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region, National Conciliation and Mediation Board in (DOLE-NCR-NCMB) Intramuros, Manila. It was witnessed by leaders from the PPIWU, National Confederation of LaborKatipunan ng mga Samahan ng Manggagawa (NCL-KASAMA).

Philippine Pizza Inc., is the franchise owner of Pizza Hut in the Philippines that is operating under the Araneta Group of Companies. PPI engages the services of the Consolidated Building Maintenance Inc., (CBMI) as an agency that handles so-called ‘labor only contracting.” Both parties had encountered some management disagreement that resulted in the termination of the 300 plus employees last month (August 2016).  CPM

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