Retrenched workers seek TRO vs new Skyway operator

Published by rudy Date posted on January 5, 2008

In the name of the riding public, retrenched employees of the Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) sought a court order to stop a foreign-owned firm from operating the Skyway.

In a 15-page petition, the PNCC employees asked the Parañaque Regional Trial Court (RTC) to immediately issue a temporary restraining order to prevent Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp. from causing “substantial and irreversible damage” to commuters.

“Being a new entity of less than a month existence and with no proven track record, the operations would result in poor delivery of toll services and higher toll fee rates,” the complainants said.

The PNCC employees said the measly capital of the new management would not be able to cover the direct overhead for services and thus may result in bigger financial losses.

“Unfortunately, the financial losses incurred by the new management are covered by sovereign guarantees. Accordingly, the financial burden of the government is also a burden of the Filipino people,” the employees pointed out.

PNCC employees union president Jose Apollo Ado said they filed the petition for a restraining order to stop the Citra takeover and also to prevent its plans to increase toll fees.

 “The agreement providing for the takeover also allows the company to jack up collections by 150 percent, increase toll fees on an annual basis,” Ado said.

Ado added that aside from the court petition, the employees are also asking the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to exert efforts to have them rehired.

At least 800 PNCC employees were retrenched when Citra assumed the operations of the Skyway last Jan. 1.

The Skyway Operations an Maintenance, a corporation in which Citra is a minority shareholder, said it has hired 300 of the 800 retrenched employees, but the union belied this claim.

Militant labor groups are gearing for a mass action on Monday to express their support for the PNCC employees. – Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star

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