labor rights

PLDT to negotiate with labor union, but not now

Ralf Rivas

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PLDT to negotiate with labor union, but not now

PLDT's Facebook page

The Manggagawa sa Komunikasyon ng Pilipinas says PLDT is delaying collective bargaining. But according to the telco, it's too early for negotiations on a new agreement.

MANILA, Philippines – Telecommunication giant PLDT said it will sit down and discuss a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the labor union which recently voted to hold a strike, but “not today.”

PLDT management stood firm that the time to sit down and start CBA talks with the Manggagawa sa Komunikasyon ng Pilipinas (MKP) is on September 24.

MKP, the exclusive bargaining representative of the rank-and-file employees of PLDT, is pushing for immediate negotiations, as the CBA is set to expire on November 8.

A total of 3,371 members or 99% of the total number of those who voted (3,390) and 83% of the total membership of the union (4,041) favored the strike.

The workers conducted the strike vote from May 14 to 15. The union said there would be a seven-day “cooling-off period” before the strike itself.

PLDT said MKP had sent a letter to management on February 20, which contained the labor union’s proposals for negotiation.

PLDT then claimed this move was followed by MKP filing a notice of strike on April 5, on the grounds of the company’s alleged refusal to bargain.

“Under the Labor Code, the parties are tasked to meet and negotiate the renewal or modification of the terms of the CBA at least 60 days prior to its expiry – the so-called freedom period – which, in this case, will begin in the first week of September, or more than three months from now and almost seven months from the time they first sent the notice to negotiate,” PLDT said.

“Until then, the Labor Code obligates both PLDT and MKP to respect the current CBA to preserve industrial peace,” it added.

PLDT’s People Group first vice president JM Co said the company remains “willing and able to negotiate with MKP at the right time.”

MKP earlier claimed that PLDT was prolonging negotiations. The labor union also demanded the regularization of some 7,000 contractual workers, mostly those involved in line repairs. –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.