Company president, drivers collaborate to condemn the scheme
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
After four Philippine Agricultural, Commercial, and Industrial Workers Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (PACIWU-TUCP) officials were accused of attempting to launch a “fake strike” against Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI), parent company of the Ceres Bus Liner, they are currently under fire after facing resistance from employees.
According to reports, PACIWU-TUCP Executive Vice President Rey dela Torre, Board Members Juvy Diama and Raymond Roldan, and Chapter President Franny Santarin entered the Ceres Bus Liner North Terminal in Bacolod City Barangay Bata last Sunday and urged drivers to stop working to “make it appear” they were demonstrating.
In a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Commission-Region VI (NLRC-6), VTI President Roy Yanson said, “Respondents wanted to make it appear as if employees are engaging in a strike.”
The four also allegedly offered “monetary reward” to those who participated.
However, drivers and conductors defied the union officials. In an affidavit, one driver noted: “We vehemently refused to comply with their instructions and replied that we have to work and that we cannot be part of the stoppage of work and their plans. We did not participate in their plan because we did not want to paralyze the operations and services to the riding public.”
Despite the two parties reaching an impasse, the incident did result in delays as terminal operations manager Rald Cena eventually came out to quell the situation, ordering buses to the garage, and causing delays for commuters waiting in the terminal.
Yanson, through his legal counsel, Atty. Sigfrid Fortun, alongside several bus drivers and conductors, claim the union officials are liable for unfair labor practices and want them restrained from “inciting, influencing, and convincing bus employees to strike or conduct work stoppages.”
It was earlier reported, bus drivers had halted service for nearly two hours last weekend at the Ceres Bus Liner South Terminal. The stoppage was reportedly initiated in response to an order from an unnamed union official.
Bus operations currently remain normal at all 15 terminals./DGB, WDJ