Davao City – The Regional Branch successfully handled its first case for 2021 when Musahamat Worker Labor Union – 1 (ALU-TUCP) (MWLU-1) and Musahamat Farms Incorporated (MFI) reached a settlement agreement last January 19, 2021.

MWLU-1 filed a Preventive Mediation case last January 07, 2021 for Unfair Labor Practices. Their issues covered were: (a) non-payment of wages for the period December 16-31, 2020, (b) non-payment of 13th month pay, (c) non-implementation of wage-increase based on their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), (d) non-implementation of Christmas budget, (e) non-implementation of payment of Vacation Leave or Sick Leave conversion, (f) continued implementation of cutting time of overtime of harvesters and (g) non-implementation of several articles in the CBA.

On January 12, 2021, Conciliator-Mediator Rhium Truce C. Salvador facilitated the first conciliation conference of the two parties. The Management of MFI, through phone call, informed the Branch that they have already paid the salary of the workers for December as well as the 13th month pay last January 6, 2021.

On the second conference last January 19, 2021, the MFI and MWLU-1 arrived at an equitable arrangement to pay the wage increase for the months of October to December 2020 on a staggered basis and in the form of retro that will be credited on the months of January to March 2021 payroll. Thus, the 236 regular employees would now be benefitting a five-peso wage increase per day. Moreover, the parties agreed to first resort the others issues mentioned above through their Grievance Machinery (GM) under their CBA at the plant-level.

GM is a mechanism of the parties for the adjustment and resolution of grievances arising from the interpretation and implementation of their CBA and those arising from the interpretation of company personnel policies. If the parties are unable to resolve their grievances, their terminal step is Voluntary Arbitration (VA).

Musahamat Farm Incorporated, is primarily engaged in planting and exporting cavendish bananas. Its principal office is at 9th Floor, Pryce Tower Bldg., J.P. Laurel Avenue, Bajada, Davao City. The plantation and exporting company employ a total of 273 employees with 176 male workers and 95 female employees. It is managed by Ibrahim Hamdy Abdil Hamid Nawar, Egyptian, and herein represented by its Admin/HR Manager, Lilybeth A. Obejero.

Musahamat Workers Labor Union – 1 (ALU-TUCP), is a legitimate labor organization duly registered with the Department of Labor and Employment, located at 3rd Floor, ALU Building, Roxas Avenue corner Padre Faura St., Davao City, and is likewise represented by its Local President, Erlino S. Cosio.  It has a membership of 141 male workers and 95 female employees. Gary B. Bonghanoy