Ceneco may appeal DOLE’s decision on issue with union

June 2, 2022 by No Comments

THE secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has already directed Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) to immediately impelement the economic provisions of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) following the notice of strike previously filed by the members of its rank-and-file employees union, an official said.Ceneco’s Regulatory and Compliance Officer Atty. Leonie Vee Garanzo-Apuhin, who is also the legal counsel of the cooperative, Thursday, June 2, 2022, said the decision also stated that Ceneco was not found liable for unfair labor practice.Garanzo-Apuhin said they have already received the order from the Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III last May 30, and that they have an available remedy which is to file a motion for reconsideration (MR) within 10 days from the receipt of the notice of order.“But, as to the matter of whether to file an MR, or what course of action to take, that is left still with discretion of the Ceneco management and Board,” she added.It can be recalled that the Ceneco Union of Rational Employees (Cure) filed a notice of strike against Ceneco before the Regional Conciliation and Mediation in Western Visayas on December 27, 2021, on the grounds of union-busting and non-implementation of the CBA.Considering that this will create disruptions on the operations of the cooperative and as a proactive remedy, Ceneco filed a petition for assumption of jurisdiction before the labor secretary.On February 7 this year, Bello ordered the assumption of jurisdiction over the issue between Ceneco and the Cure.Bello also said that with the assumption of jurisdiction, any intended strike, lockout or any action intended by the members of the Cure is automatically enjoined or prohibited.If one has already taken place, all striking and locked out employees shall, from receipt of this order, immediately return to work and the employer shall immediately resume operations and readmit all workers under the same terms and conditions, he added.As this developed, Garanzo-Apuhin said the recent decision by the labor official is not yet immediately executory or implementable.“The decision will only be final and executory if Ceneco won’t be able to file a motion for recon with in 10 days from receipt of the order,” she said, adding that if the MR will not be granted, they might elevate the matter to the Court of Appeals.