“Musahamat Workers Labor Union II-NAFLU-KMU staged an actual strike on April 10, 2017 at around 3:00 P.M. at the farm in Pantukan, Compostela Valley.  NCMB-RBXI   settles in 9 days.” OIC-Director Reyes announced today.

On March 8, 2017, the union filed a Notice of Strike case for unfair labor practice particularly on the issue of union busting for the dismissal of Board of Directors Dionisio Gultia and Marlo Alfonso.

On March 14, 2017, during the initial conference, it was validated that affected union officers were already dismissed, hence the filing of the Notice of Strike on the ground of union busting.

On March 24, 2017, the union submitted strike vote result wherein majority of the union members favored to conduct strike with 145 who voted yes out of 252 total union members.

On April 3, 2017, this Office conducted the marathon conciliation facilitated by Officer-in Charge/Director Reyes together with the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) team of conciliators headed by Regional Director Raymundo Agravante, Dir. Reynaldo Foncardas and Con-med Jao.

Three options were generated.  The first option was from the management which is payment of separation pay.  The second option was proposed by the RCC team which is reinstatement.  The third option was to bring the matter to the Office of the Secretary of Labor for voluntary arbitration.

There was a set of marathon conciliations conducted on April 4 and 5, 2017.

However, on April 10, the union staged an actual strike at around 3:00 PM at the Farm in Pantukan, Compostela Valley.

April 11, 2017, the management still expressed its willingness to settle the issue.  It clarified that it maintains its position to reinstate the two (2) Board of Directors but they must undergo first a 30-day suspension with last warning.

The union reiterated its demand for the immediate reinstatement but without the sanction of suspension.

At around 3:30 PM, the management decided to go on lockout for the reason that the union restrained and prevented the non-striking workers to go to work.  Another reason is that the union blocked the ingress and egress thus, it cannot operate anymore. Lastly, the union act is a clear violation of the CBA provision and preventing management to exercise management prerogative on transfer of employees.

Hence, Team of Conciliators headed by USec Joel B. Maglunsod, Regional Director Raymundo Agravante and OIC-Director Aerrine Marie Reyes scheduled another marathon of conciliation conferences on April 12 and 13, 2017 and were able to craft settlement package. However, two (2) particular items:  1. Reinstatement of 2 union officers who have already served the two (2) month suspension and 2.)  Gardening system remained to be subject for union’s clarification.

The union clarified on the recall of 2 union officers, if the length of service of the dismissed union officers must be continued or reverted and that the one (1) month suspension if it is reflected in the employee’s file or not.

Likewise, on the gardening scheme, the union demands to reduce the hectarage assigned to every worker and that this concern must be discussed in the LMC.

Finally, after thorough discussion on the remaining two (2) issues, parties finally came up with a mutual agreement on April 19, 2017.  That is, all striking workers shall return to work effective immediately.

Musahamat Farms, Inc. shall reinstate the two (2) BODs without loss of seniority rights and privileges.

Another agreement was that the gardening system shall be implemented with 2.5 hectarage per worker with four (4) major operations such as bagging and plastic inserting, deflowering and defingering, overhand cable propping and bad tubing.  More so, it will be further discussed in the LMC with the presence of Mr. Rey Guillen, HR Manager of Musahamat Farms and federation representative to come up with a more appropriate system and be subjected to time and motion study with the assistance of Technical Working Group composed of NCMB-RBXI, DOLE XI, representative from union and management, if necessary.

The union likewise agrees to lift the strike, clean and remove all the posted placards and streamers, the established makeshifts as well as all other paraphernalia at Musahamat Farms premises.

The company operations were then resumed to normal.

“I am grateful to my staff for the full support they rendered.  I am also grateful for the support of RCC team and of course the parties involved for their cooperation.”   OIC-Director Reyes stated.

Musahamat Farms, Inc. is a corporation engaged in planting and marketing of fresh Cavendish banana.  Its corporate office is located at 9th Floor, Pryce Tower Condominium, J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City.  Farm II is located at Piansay Kingking, Pantukan, Compostela Valley Province.  It is represented by Mr. Rey M. Guillen, HR Manager.  It has 252 total number of employees.

 Musahamat Workers Labor Union II is affiliated with NAFLU-KMU.  It is the certified sole and exclusive bargaining agent and represents collective bargaining purposes the two hundred fifty two rank and file employees headed by its President Esperidion Cabaltera.  Sheila A. Rivera