Philippines - Suspended and sacked for involvement in union action

Management at the 5-star Peninsula Manila hotel dismissed Jenny Marcos, a member of the Board of Directors of the Peninsula Employees Union, on 3 January 2017. It also suspended Francisco Aliansas, another member of the union’s board of directors, and Cesar Pagaling, president of the union’s supervisors’ chapter, for 15 days. The dismissal and suspensions followed the union’s participation in the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) Global Housekeepers Campaign.

The union had negotiated improvements in the collective agreement and better working conditions for housekeepers, and in 2015 secured unprecedented government inspections of working conditions at hotels. The Manila Peninsula was ordered to regularise 405 casual employees including 55 housekeepers at the hotel as a result.

Peninsula management resisted implementation of the order, and used the union’s participation in the global housekeeper campaign as a pretext to sack Jenny Marcos and to suspend her two colleagues. Management also supported a yellow union yellow union A union set up and/or controlled by the employer to prevent the establishment of a genuine trade union. to challenge the National Union of Workers in Hotels, Restaurants and Allied Industries (NUWHRAIN) unions’ legal certification for collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
. The company union company union Can be used to describe either an enterprise union or a yellow union. was soundly defeated in an election on 30 January 2017, but management reneged on an agreement negotiated under government auspices which would have suspended rather than terminated Jenny Marcos and allowed NUWHRAIN to contest the disciplinary measures through the customary legal channels. The Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) assumed final jurisdiction, and was due to impose a binding decision.

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