In spite of DoLE order: Bus Workers’ Back Wages Still Unpaid

After staging two strikes and signing three memoranda of agreement, the employees of the Philippine Rabbit Bus Line (PRBL) still have unpaid back wages to collect. This, in spite of a motion of execution issued by the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), an agency under the the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).

BY ALDWIN QUITASOL
Northern Dispatch
Posted by Bulatlat

BAGUIO CITY — After staging two strikes and signing three memoranda of agreement, the employees of the Philippine Rabbit Bus Line (PRBL) still have unpaid back wages to collect. This, in spite of a motion of execution issued by the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), an agency under the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).

Philippine Rabbit bus workers said 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,” a worker who requested anonymity said. “They are really hell-bent on deceiving us and evading their obligations.”

Members of the Philippine Rabbit Bus Employees Union (PRBEU) said they filed a complaint at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), DoLE Region III office for non-payment of employees’ wages. The workers won the case and the NCMB elevated it to the NLRC.

The company, in its third memorandum of agreement with the workers, promised to pay their back wages since last May and implement the second memorandum of agreement, but the company did not comply. This prompted the NLRC regional arbiter to issue a writ of execution ordering the DoLE sheriff to seize four PRBL buses. The buses will be auctioned and the proceeds will be given to the workers.

PRBEU staged two strikes in 2003 and 2004. The first strike, union members said, was due to non-payment of wages and benefits and non-remittance of Social Security Service (SSS) monthly contributions. The strike lasted from October to the first week of December 2003. It ended with the signing of a memorandum of agreement 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), union members further said. The strike lasted from March to October 2004 and ended with the signing of a second memorandum of agreement.

The company, however failed to implement the memorandum of agreement and instead continued its “unfair” labor practices, union members said. Northern Dispatch / Posted by Bulatlat

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