PLDT supervisors file notice of strike

GUTS officials at the Department of Labor and Employment. The PLDT employees filed a notice of strike today. Photo by Kathy Yamzon.

PLDT supervisory union Gabay ng Unyon sa Telekomunikasyon ng mga Superbisor (GUTS) filed a “notice of strike” today at the Department of Labor and Employment over issues of unfair labor practices and illegal massive dismissal of 12,000 PLDT workers last June 31, 2018.

The group said that the filing of a strike is part of their long-drawn campaign for the regularization of all PLDT workers. According to the group, this comes after the termination of outsourced workers in June, where supervisors from various branches of PLDT across the country were left to carry workloads previously done by the contractual workers.

The said recent shift of work operations in PLDT have been affecting the health conditions of their members. “As the highest form of collective action of workers, we are planning to hold a strike in the days to come. This isan expression of our extreme outrage against PLDT management’s moves and maneuvers to circumvent the law and previous DOLE compliance orders to regularize its workers and employees,” said GUTS President Charlito Arevalo.

No plans to regularize workers

Arevalo pointed out that after the release of the reversed decision of the Court of Appeals to the DOLE regularization order last July 31, PLDT filed another motion for reconsideration last August 20 to the CA questioning the part of the said decision regarding the regularization of PLDT installers, repair crew, and maintenance crew.

“Clearly, PLDT has been hell-bent in resorting to all legal remedies and actions in order not to add up even a single worker to its regular workers. The PLDT management is really not serious in regularizing its workers,” Arevalo said.

GUTS also broke their silence over news reports reiterating DOLE’s statements about holding meetings with PLDT regarding compromised regularization agreements of 50% to 60% of workers on DOLE’s regularization compliance order.

PLDT on Monday denied the said information released by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. “Even if such information is fake or true, PLDT and DOLE must not enter into any compromise deals in behalf of the regularization of all the terminated 12,000 workers of PLDT due to DOLE’s cease and desist order. Our demand is clear enough that PLDT and DOLE must regularize all of these workers and end all forms of contractualization in the soonest possible time,” Arevalo said.

He also reminded Secretary Bello and President Duterte that the root of all the termination of contractual workers of PLDT and other companies across the country is the DOLE Order 174 and Executive Order 51 which the government itself issued. GUTS said that such orders were being used and maximized by PLDT and other companies to worsen the state of contractualization in the country. Precedent Arevalo also warned Bello and Duterte that whatever the final decision that will be generated in the fight for regularization of PLDT workers will set a strong precedent to all the contractual workers nationwide. “To date, all eyes have been looking on the case of PLDT as our fight as PLDT workers is not just ours, but of the entire Filipino working class, as well,” he said.

On the other hand, members of the PLDT Organization of Workers and Employees for Rights – Kilos Na Manggagawa (POWER-KNM) expressed their full support to the planned strike and said that they will be joining their supervisors in whatever course of action they will take.

“As PLDT is being consistent in closing all the openings and avenues for regularization, we call on all workers of PLDT to support all the plans of our supervisors as our interests are primarily at stake here,” POWER-KNM spokesperson Marga Lamigo said.

She calls on members and officials of different labor groups to unite in calling for regularization.

“Our battle is far from over. The PLDT management must be reminded that we are just starting our battle for regularization and that we are determined to fight for it until the end, until the victory of all PLDT workers,” Lamigo said.

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