By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Representatives from labor unions, the Philippine Agricultural, Commercial, and Industrial Workers Union (PACIWU) and Mindanao Alliance of Land Transport and General Workers Union (MALTU), held a press conference yesterday to express their support for Leo Rey Yanson, who was recently ousted as president of Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI), parent company of the Ceres Bus Liner, by his older brother, Roy Yanson.
According to an earlier released press statement from Atty. Sheila Sison, the elder Yanson was appointed company president following a special board meeting that was held to appoint a new president and replace corporate officers expected to work with the new administration.
PACIWU head Hernani Braza called the act “invalid” and explained the only president is authorized to call a special meeting or must approve a request to hold such a meeting. He also noted, due process must be requested before an individual is removed from office.
He also touched upon allegations surrounding the illegal detention of VTI employees by the elder Yanson and called for an end to the use of force and “intimidation.”
“We are also asking [Roy Yanson] to stop intimidating our members,” Braza stressed. “We already have the evidence that they were illegally detained.”
The PACIWU official also said they are against conducting a transport strike as he said the union does not want to affect commuters; however, Braza said it is still possible if the matter remains unresolved.
Meanwhile, MALTU Administrator Jose Ares called the takeover “irresponsible” and said it makes the union anxious as they serve as a bridge between management and the Yanson Group of Bus Companies.
He pointed out challenges the union has faced with previous management, claiming, prior to Leo Rey Yanson ascending the presidency, they experienced meager benefits and an “anti-worker” atmosphere.
Earlier, around 3,000 VTI employees gathered in a show of support for the younger Yanson and family matriarch Olivia Yanson.
The former VTI chief credited himself and his mother for the company’s workforce growing to 18,000, along with the acquisition of 4,000 buses.
Prior to the incident, Leo Rey Yanson said he suggested a coin toss to determine management over the company’s Visayas and Mindanao operations, but the offer was refused.
Despite the younger Yanson calling the meeting “illegal,” the elder Yanson’s lawyers said his appointment as president was compliant with procedure and cited a loss of trust and confidence as the reason why the previous head was “voted out.”/DGB, WDJ