Sunday, February 3, 2013

Holiday Inn Resort Independent Union Scandal

The threat by the 151-strong Holiday Inn Resort Independent Union to paralyze the operations of Holiday Inn Clark Philippines has been averted following successful efforts by the Regional Conciliation-Mediation Branch No. 3 to resolve a brewing dispute between the union and the hotel management, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz bared yesterday.

"The dispute, which arose out of a deadlock in negotiations over wage increases, was amicably settled through conciliation-mediation on 17 January 2013. The parties agreed to a monthly wage increase of P800 for employees who have been with the company for 10 years and above, P700 for employees with 6 to 9 years of service, P600 for employees with 3-5 years of service, and P500 for employees with 1 to 2 years of service," Baldoz disclosed.

"In addition, the company also agreed to grant the lump sum amount of P3,500 to employees with 10 or more years of service, and P2,000 to employees who have been with the company for less than 10 years," she added.

The settlement package, worth over P2 million, will benefit some 147 covered workers.

"What was significant with the settlement agreement was the willingness of the parties to establish a labor-management council, underscoring their recognition of workplace peace and harmony as a requisite to productivity, competitiveness, and continued business viability," Baldoz further said.

A report of the Regional Conciliation Mediation Branch No. 3 said the parties will meet in February 2013 with RCMB 3 representatives to prepare for the setting up of their LMC.

The Holiday Inn Resort Independent Union filed a notice of strike shortly before Christmas, or on 20 December 2012, after the parties failed to agree on the amount of the monthly wage increase for the third year of their CBA. The strike became imminent after conciliation meetings on 26 December 2012 and 4 January 2013 failed. On the third conciliation meeting on 11 January, the union submitted the results of its strike balloting, which showed majority supports to declare a strike.

Aware of the fast-approaching last day of the cooling off period, Conciliator-Mediator Teresita Cancio, officer-on-case, called another meeting on 14 January, during which the parties agreed on the amount of monthly wage increases, but not on the lump sum amount.

Ms. Cancio scheduled another meeting on 17 January, where the parties finally signed a compromise agreement to settle the dispute. v"The settlement of the dispute not only averted a possible strike; it also assured continued stability and harmony in the company and preserved the jobs of the union members," said Baldoz.

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