Skyway workers, together with the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), today picketed the DOLE to reiterate their call for the resignation of the Secretary of Labor Arturo Brion.
“Brion is either the biggest charlatan or the most brazen agent of employers who ever headed the DOLE,” Jose Apollo Ado, president of the PNCC Skyway Corporation Employees Union (PSCEU), said. “As such, he has no business staying in the DOLE,” he added.
The workers lambasted Brion for his biased handling of the labor dispute in PNCC Skyway.
It should be recalled that when the rank and file and security workers of PNCC Skyway started taking action against their mass termination last December 2007, the DOLE immediately issued an Assumption of Jurisdiction ordering all workers to cease and desist from taking action and to return to work. While Brion signed the AJ, he contradicted himself the very next day when he claimed that he did not issue a return to work order!
“No wonder Brion never lifted a finger to compel the PNCC Skyway to implement his own order,” Ado said. More than a month after the issuance of the AJ, the PNCC Skyway continues to defy the Labor Secretary’s order.
Recently, the Secretary Labor denied the union’s amended complaint to implead the Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC), the parent company of Skyway, and Skyway O & M Corporation (SOMCO), which took over Skyway operations on January 1, 2008. He even stated that he would no longer entertain any additional motion impleading SOMCO and the PNCC.
“This is a denial of due process,” Ado said. “Clearly, Brion is shielding the PNCC and SOMCO from any liabilities. In effect, the Secretary of Labor is acting as the defender of a labor rights violator – the PNCC” he said.
Today’s action is part of the call of Kowalisyon Kontra Kontraktwalisasyon (KONTRA) to hold daily actions in DOLE until the Labor Secretary agrees to sit down with the coalition leaders to thresh out an acceptable decision for Skyway workers.
The PSCEU is an affiliate of the Workers’ Solidarity Network (WSN), which in turn is an affiliate of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL).