Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, July 19, 2008

65 illegally fired SBMC workers compensated

By. Mamer Bañez – People’s Journal

SUBIC Bay Freeport – Sixty five workers illegally dismissed by the Subic Bay Medical Center Corp. and its incorporators will receive P4.7 million in compensation package after the National labor Relations Commission, regional Arbitration Branch Region III ruled in their favor.

In a10-package decision, labor Arbiter Reynaldo V. Abdon said the employees, led by Miriam De Guzman, Gemma Redondo, Michael Tiador and Maria Regina Victoria Legaspi, will ne awarded the amount of P 4, 747,166.77.

The 65 workers filed last Feb. 13 a consolidated complaint against SBMCC for illegal dismissal and non-payment of salaries, cost of living allowances, 13th month pay holiday pay, service incentives. Leave, meals and tax refund.

On July 21, 2006, SBMCC called a general meeting and verbally informed the complainants that the operation of the company will be temporarily suspended for not exceeding six months due to alleged rehabilitation and to lessen the expenses of the company.

The workers asked SBMCC for the payment of their separation pay and other benefits due them if it no longer resumes its business after the six months period but they received no answer. In line with the dilemma the workers faced after the closure, they decided to elevate their case to the regional director of the Department of labor and Employment and requested a certification if there is as notice of application of temporary suspension of business operation.

DOLE regional Director Nathaniel V. Lacambra issued a certification that on July 24, 2006, SBMCC filed a Notice of Temporary Closure effective July 21, 2006 dur to lack of capital, affecting 156 workers. Abdon said SBMCC was given ample time to submit their position papers in response to the workers’ claims but failed to file an appeal and present any evidence that they complied with the requisites for valid closure.

Abdon said under Article 286 of the Labor Code, in case of termination due to the installation of labor saving devices or redundancy, the workers affected shall be entitled to a separation pay equivalent to at least his one month pay or to at least one month pay for every year of service.

The SBMCC had not complied with the notice requirement of serving a written notice to its workers and the DoLE at least one month before the intended date of its closure, thereby rendering it decision on May 20, 2008 in favor of the workers.

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