National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned today the illegal dismissal of 11 employees of Planters Development Bank owned by business tycoon Henry Sy, claiming the company is trying to prevent employees from getting a better Collective Bargaining Agreement and maintaining their union.
The layoff of the messengers and janitors, all members of the Planters Development Bank Employees Association, was deemed effective last December 30 and comes in the heels of the management’s refusal, since September this year, to respond to the union’s proposals in ongoing negotiations for a CBA.
KMU accused the PDB management of sabotaging CBA negotiations until the bank’s merger with China Bank Savings is completed, in order to deny PDB employees of higher wages and benefits and to bust the PDBEA.
“The illegal dismissal of 11 Planters Bank employees on New Year’s eve highlights Contractualization King Henry Sy’s heartlessness towards workers. We consider this an attack not only on the 11 employees and all bank employees, but on all Filipino workers,” said Jerome Adonis, KMU secretary-general.
The labor leader said the management’s attacks on Planters Bank employees and the PDBEA may be a signal of another wave of attacks on bank employees, who have been suffering from the implementation of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Circular No. 268, which allows the outsourcing of almost all banking functions, and has allowed layoffs of regular bank employees.
“We are calling on all bank employees, all pro-worker formations, and all workers to condemn the intensifying attacks on Planters Bank employees. The attempt to bust the PDBEA or any union is a prelude to more brutal moves to press down wages, promote contractualization and violate workers’ rights,” Adonis added.
KMU also called on proprietors of Small- and Medium-scale Enterprises investing in the bank, which prides itself as an SME bank, to express to the PDB management their concern for the retrenchment of 11 employees who were holding regular positions and whose average length of service in the company is 20 years.
“We support the 11 employees and the PDBEA in rejecting the management’s offer of a separation package and standing up for employment and their union. Money can’t compensate for this injustice and violation of workers’ rights,” Adonis stated.