Court orders DoLE to resolve CBA row

Published by rudy Date posted on October 18, 2010

The Court of Appeals has ordered the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to resolve the issues on “additional excluded employees,” retirement plan, employees’ stock option plan, and the employees’ stock benefit fund relative to the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the union and management of Philippine National Bank (PNB).

In its recent decision, the court ruled that the issues on “additional excluded employees,” retirement plan. Employees’ stock option plan, and the employees’ stock benefit plan are remanded to the secretary of Labor and Employment for definite resolution.

These aforementioned issues have been pending since 1997 following a deadlock in CBA negotiations between the PNB and PNB Employee Chapter, an affiliate of the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE). The DoLE has assumed jurisdiction over the labor dispute on July 8, 1997. On Sept. 24, 1998, the DoLE came up with a decision as it directed the parties to execute a CBA. The issue involving “additional excluded employees” was, however, referred for voluntary arbitration.

A day after the decision was rendered, on Sept. 25, 1998, the parties signed a CBA. At the same time, the parties also entered into a memorandum of agreement where the following were agreed upon: goodwill bonus in the amount of P15,000 to be given to covered employees; moratorium for the fourth and fifth year of the CBA in case of non-improvement in the condition of the PNB; scheduled wage increases in the fourth and fifth year of the CBA; and establishment of the PNB Employees’ Stock Option Plan.

Thereafter, on Jan. 1, 2000, the PNB management and union signed a resolution manifesting that effective Sept. 25, 1998, the 45 percent share of the PNB in escrow, including the shares purchased using the said fund, will now be vested in the employees. The said fund will also be considered the seed capital of the PNB Employees’ Stock Benefit Fund.

In as much as other issues are still pending, the union filed a motion before DoLE on Jan. 31, 2001, seeking judgment on the establishment of the Retirement Plan and Employees’ Stock Option Plan, transfer of escrowed amount from the dissolution of provident fund to the creation of PNB Employees’ Sock Benefit Fund, and exclusion of rank-and-file employee from the bargaining and membership in the union. The issues, however, remained unresolved. On June 6, 2005, the union filed a motion anew to seek resolution of the pending issues. Several conferences between the parties were held to settle the issues but to no avail. –Daily Tribune

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