DOLE warns PLDT: Regularize 7K workers or face sanctions

MANILA The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) warned anew telecommunications firm Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) to comply with its order on the regularization of more than 7,000 workers from its contractors.

Any act or condition imposed that frustrates or tends to frustrate the order to regularize is contumacious and shall be dealt with in accordance with the law, according to the clarificatory order signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III which was released in a press conference Wednesday.

The agency issued the warning after receiving reports that the company is terminating a number of workers from its contractors in connection with the Department's order to regularize a total of 7,306 outsourced workers.

This stemmed from the reports of labor law compliance inspectors, which stated that PLDT and its contractors are engaged in illegal labor-only contracting activities.

In a separate interview, DOLE Assistant Secretary Benjo Benavidez said the clarificatory order was issued to note that the company is not allowed to conduct pre-employment activities in regularizing the workers.

The clarificatory order merely clarifies that the regularization is not subject to any conditions, that they should not be conducting pre-employment processes, among others, he explained.

The regularization order is automatic and is not subject to any condition or requirement, the DOLE official added.

On the other hand, Benavidez said that they could start exploring their options for punitive actions, when asked on what they will do in case PLDT failed to comply with the order.

Meanwhile, some 50 members of the PLDT Organization of Workers and Employees for Rights (POWER) on Wednesday picketed outside the DOLE main office in Manila before their meeting with some labor officials to discuss the company's compliance with the regularization order. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency