6 June 2011
UNITED PANAY & ILOILO TRUCK DRIVERS ASSOCIATION
The truck drivers of Harbour-Link Transport, Inc. launched protest action today in front of its office and motor pool located at Brgy. Banoyao along coastal road in La Paz , Iloilo City .
The 15 drivers were joined by their families in the protest expressing disgust over Harbour-Link management’s continued to refusal to provide them of incentives, such as; 13th month pay, service incentive leave pay, and holiday pay since 2004.
According to Elmer Blancaflor, spokesperson of the drivers, “we have not been receiving these incentive pay since 2004 and we call on the management to settle its obligations to us especially in these times of desperate need with the opening of the classes.”
“These incentives are law mandated and consistent in upholding the labor standards in the workplace. We are only asking from the management what is due for us,” stressed Blancaflor.
Moreover, the drivers are likewise demanding that the management reinstate them back to work after they were unjustly relieved of driving duties by gathering from them the truck keys the day after they lodged a complaint at the regional office of National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).
The filing of complaint is a necessary legal step that we took in order for the management to realize that they cannot abandon their obligations to their workers and to formalize our demand on the proper venue. The management however seem displeased by our actions thus relieved us from our work,” explained by Blancaflor.
The truck drivers of Harbour-Link Transport are members of the United Panay and Iloilo Truck Drivers Association (UPTDA), a group of Class “A” licensed and skilled drivers from different companies in the container van and forwarding industry formed by Partido ng Manggagawa (PM Panay-Guimaras).
Cito Cordero, president of UPTDA explained that “if the management and legal counsel of Harbour-Link are guided by the labor standards set forth by our labor laws then they are aware that they deliberately committed “constructive dismissal” after they relieved the drivers of driving duties following their filing of a complaint.”
“This is a clear violation against the driver-workers. A management who is aware of its responsibilities yet has engaged itself in violating it is also committing abuse to its workers,” said Cordero.
The management must realize that we, the workers, are the lifeblood of our industries and of our economy and nation. What they are doing anti-workers and unacceptable to the working class,” criticized Cordero.
For his part, Ronald Payda, coordinator of PM Panay-Guimaras shared that the management of Harbour-Link cannot just exercise its “management prerogative” anytime they see fit.’
Payda averred, that there are parameters provided on how management can address the problems of its workers putting limitations to management prerogatives. I urge their lawyer, Atty. Jose Junio Jacela to refresh his memory regarding fair labor practices by reviewing his labor law.”