The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) must enforce its regularization orders instead of simply coming out with lists of companies practicing contractualization, militant labor federation Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) challenged the agency.
Reacting to the DOLE revelation that some of the country’s biggest companies are among the top implementors of the illegal contractualization scheme, KMU said the list may only grow longer without foreceful implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 51 banning labor-only contracting in many industries.
“In the first place, many names on the list came from the workers who filed them with DOLE. What we need to see now are final and executory orders for regularization of contractual workers,” KMU chairperson Elmer Labog said.
In a press conference Monday, DOLE revealed a total of 3,377 companies were found to be engaged and suspected to be engaged in labor-only contracting arrangements based on its initial list of non-compliant establishments.
“We are now providing you the top 20 non-complaint companies according to the number of workers that need to be regularized, from a list of 3,377 non-compliant establishments involving 224,852 workers from various parts of the country,” Bello said.
Among the top violators include giant Jollibee Food Corporation with 14,960 affected workers, followed by the Dole Philippines, Inc., with 10,521 affected workers, and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) with 8,310 affected workers.
DOLE also identified Philsaga Mining Corporation with 6,624 affected workers; General Tuna Corporation with 5,216; Sumi Phils Wiring System Corporation with 4,305; Franklin Baker Inc., with 3,400; Philipinas Kyohritsu with 3,161; Furukawa Automotive System Phil. Inc., with 2,863; and the Magnolia Inc., with 2,248 affected workers.
KCC Property Holdings, Inc., with 1,802 affected workers; Sumifru Philippines , Corp. with 1,687; Hinatuan Mining Corporation with 1,673; KCC Mall De Zamboanga with 1,598; Brother Industries (Philippines) Inc., with1,582; Philippine Airlines and PAL Express with 1,483; Nidec Precision Philippines Corporation with 1,400; Peter Paul Phil. Corporation with 1,362; Dolefil Upper Valley Cooperations with 1,183; and the SOLE-Stanfilco with 1,131 affected workers are also included in the preliminary list DOLE submitted to Malacanan Palace last May 25, 2018.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the list was culled from the result of inspections of 99,526 establishments from June 2016 to April 2018.
DOLE said the list was just an initial report, considering the labor inspections covered only a fraction of more than 900,000 establishments nationwide.
Bello said SM Malls were not included in the list as it has already submitted a voluntarily regularization program, which targets an estimated 10,000 regularized workers by the end of 2018.
DOLE Department Order No. 174 prohibits labor–only contracting, which exist when the contractor merely recruits, supplies or places workers to perform a job for a principal under employment arrangements designed to circumvent the right of workers to security of tenure.
DOLE said a total of 176,286 workers have been regularized as of May 11, 2018 through the intensified labor enforcement system of the labor department.
‘Let it not stay a list’
KMU however said DOLE’s list will only grow longer without a more forceful and sustained implementation of regularization orders.
“In the case of PLDT, there were only about 7,400 contractual workers when KMU and Kilos Na Manggagawa filed a complaint with DOLE earlier. Now, it is saying there are already 8,310 affected workers. If DOLE does not enforce regularization orders, the numbers will only increase,” Labog said.
“Now that they have a list, it should not stay merely as a list. DOLE must immediately issue and enforce regularization orders for these workers,” Labog added.
KMU said that should DOLE’s list does not translate to the regularization of its number of affected workers, it becomes another mere palliative to the lack of a wage increase in the midst of runaway price increases of basic commodities and services due to the Duterte government’s tax measures.
KMU added it supports House Bill 7787 for a national minimum wage law filed by the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives Monday. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)