DOLE orders Jollibee to regularize over 6,000 workers

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday, April 4, ordered popular Philippine fast food company Jollibee Foods Corporation to regularize more than 6,000 workers, as the agency continues its campaign against contractualization.

DOLE National Capital Region Director Henry John Jalbuena said in a press statement that his office ordered Jollibee to regularize 6,482 workers deployed by two contractors.

DOLE also ordered Jollibee to refund 426 workers more than P15 million in "illegally collected payments" from the company's "Coop Share, Coop Christmas Paluwagan Fund, and Coop Savings Fund."

In a statement sent to Rappler, Jollibee said it is following the process DOLE had prescribed to appeal the order.

Jollibee said it remains committed to “complying with the law and DO 174, which allow contracting arrangement with legitimate Service Provider.”

“In compliance with regulations, we only deal with reputable Service Contractors that have been duly accredited and registered with DOLE. We have been cooperating and will continue to cooperate with DOLE," Jollibee said.

Refund for workers

Five of Jollibee's contractors were also ordered to return P4,137,158.15 in "unlawful wage deductions, bonds, donations, shares, and other illegal payment collections" to 412 workers.

Topping the list of liable contractors is Citiwide Basic Commodities and Manpower Services, Incorporated, with a total financial obligation of P1,853,578 to 40 workers. The amount covers refunds on cash bonds for motorcycle rentals, and unpaid service incentive leaves and holiday pay.

Generation One Resource Service and Multi-Purpose Cooperative was told to refund collected  share capital, cooperative shares, membership fees, Damayan Fund; and pay more than P1 million worth of unpaid holiday earnings to 287 workers.

Integral Care Formation Service Cooperative was ordered to return P440,300 in collected coop shares and uniform costs to 24 workers.

Toptrend Service Corporation was directed to refund P464,012 to 47 workers for motorcycle rentals.

MetroGuards Security Agency Corporation must also return donations and reimburse unpaid holiday pay earnings of 14 workers amounting to P199,905.

Aside from Jollibee, DOLE also issued a compliance order to Perf Restaurants Incorporated, the local franchise holder of fast food chain Burger King, directing it to regularize 704 workers deployed by its 3 contractors.

DOLE is also set to conduct inspections on fast food chains McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

In a statement, Public Relations & Communications Senior Manager Adi Timbol-Hernandez said that Mcdonald’s never practiced contractualization since it opened its first restaurant in the Philippines, and that it has “always adopted a direct hiring policy.”

McDonald’s also said that the DOLE had awarded the fast food company with a certificate of compliance in relation to DOLE's general labor and occupational safety and health standards.

The labor department has also conducted dialogues with the management of Chowking and Mang Inasal. – Rappler.com