Skyway workers lose battle to keep jobs

Published by rudy Date posted on January 26, 2008

Employees of the Philippine National Construction Corp. (PNCC) lost a legal battle to prevent Citra Metro Manila Tollways Corp. from taking over the Skyway operations.

The Parañaque Regional Trial Court (RTC) junked yesterday the PNCC employees’ petition for the immediate issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop Citra from operating the Skyway.

Joshua Mata of the Alliance of Progressive Labor said the court denied their petition because Presidential Decree 1112 prohibits regional trial courts from issuing restraining orders on tollway projects.

With the dismissal of their petition, about 800 PNCC employees are likely to end up jobless by Jan. 31.

Labor Secretary Arturo Brion earlier said the PNCC employees are under forced leave because their termination would take effect by the end of the month.

To prevent their retrenchment, as well as what they described as “substantial and irreversible damage” to commuters, the PNCC employees sought a TRO. They claimed the agreement providing for the takeover also allows Citra to jack up collections by 150 percent and increase toll rates on annual basis.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is also set to issue a decision by the end of the month on a complaint filed by the employees against PNCC for alleged unfair labor practice in connection with their termination.-– Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star

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