Six workers of Daeduck Philippines Incorporated (DDPI) were awarded a sum P2,107,622.16  in their illegal dismissal case before the National Labor Relations Commission Regional Arbitration Branch No. IV-A (NLRC RAB-IVA).

Labor Arbiter Edgar Bisana wrote in his decision that the dismissal of complainants was outrightly illegal and in fact condemnable. He pointed to Arbiter Castillon’s decision which DDPI tried to circumvent in terminating all its workers thru MSC.

Arbiter Bisana who presided over the complaint favored the workers after finding that DDPI tried to circumvent a final and executory decision of Labor Arbiter Danna Castillon in August 17, 2011 declaring them regular workers and Silver Peak Manpower Services a labor-only contractor.

The decision was released on October 24, 2012 but was only received by the workers this January 24, 2013.

fight for job security

The case started when the contractual workers dared to legally question their working arrangement in DDPI and pursued for regular status.

Crispin Recto, one of the six complainants who won, related his personal experience while working in DDPI.

“I was directly hired by DDPI in September 2005 and made me sign a five-month contract. I worked as an operator in DDPI.”

“After the end of my contract, the HR personnel said that I will be transferred to a manpower agency so that I can work continuously in the company. At Cogtong Manpower Services which later changed its name to Silver Peak Manpower Services, they made us sign five-month contracts for a job in DDPI.”

“However in 2010, the agency deducted P9 from our daily wages without our consent which prompted us to seek legal help from Workers Assistance Center, Inc (WAC). Eventually they helped us, and filed our complaint to attain regular status in the company.”

From 2005 up to 2010, the contractual workers like what Recto narrated were made to sign five-month contracts under Silver Peak Manpower Services. Until they decided to file their complaint in September and October 2010 before the NLRC RAB-IVA which was heard by Labor Arbiter Danna Castillon, the complainants were shipped to Maximum Solutions Corporation (MSC), another manpower agency.

Again, like in the previous manpower agencies the workers were again signed for five-month contracts before they were terminated in September and October 2011 allegedly because of the ten-month policy being implemented by MSC and DDPI to the contractual workers.

the decision

The workers termination in 2011 was preceded by the NLRC decision dated August 17, 2011 that they are regular workers of DDPI. Thus, they filed an illegal dismissal complaint on November 2011.

DDPI’s false claim that the workers were under MSC was proven when it is the one who informed them (workers) of their termination and reported it to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and not MSC.

Still, DDPI’s assertion that it is separate and distinct from MSC was found absurd by the NLRC because both are represented by Atty. Williamore Parada – DDPI’s lawyer.

MSC insisted in its position paper that what they exercise to their employees in DDPI was also the same to their other clients like ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp., Golden Arches Development Corporation, and Astec International Ltd. – ROHQ. 

But, Arbiter Bisana found no connection in this assertion of MSC in proving that it has supervision and control over the complainants and again stressed the previous decision of Arbiter Castillon that the complainants were under DDPI’s supervision and control not even to mention that they are working in the premises of the company.

The labor arbiter also noted that during Arbiter Castillon’s decision, MSC was not declared a labor-only contractor mainly because it was not yet in the existence when the complaint was filed by the workers. Yet, in his decision he referred to MSC as another labor-only contractor which is deemed illegal according to the Labor Code.

Arbiter Bisana ordered DDPI to immediately reinstate the six illegally dismissed workers to their former position without loss of benefits and seniority right. He also ordered both DDPI and MSC to pay workers their full back wages from the date of their dismissal until their actual reinstatement, moral and exemplary damages, and attorney’s fees.

The computation made by the commission only covered the period of October 8, 2011 to May 14, 2012 include their full back wages, 13th month pay, holiday pay, and service incentive leave pay amounting to more than P100, 000 each.

Each worker should also receive P100, 000 for moral damages and another P100, 000 for exemplary damages.

DDPI and MSC will also pay for the attorney’s fees of the complainants amounting to 10% of the sum of the entire monetary award ‘for being forced to litigate against their exploitative employer.’

Aside from Recto, other complainants were Ronald Briguel, Jovener Valdez, John Hervie De Sosa, Herold King Pablo, and Jaymar Santiago.

Though at the losing end of the case DDPI and MSC can still appeal before the NLRC national office. But, the reinstatement provision of the decision cannot be delayed as it is immediately and executory even if they decide on appealing the case. WAC on the other hand, believes that even if DDPI and MSC appeal their loss to the commission (NLRC national office) or bring the matter to the regular court, the decision of the arbiter would just be affirmed.

DDPI is a Korean-owned Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacturer located inside the Cavite Economic Zone (CEZ), Rosario. The company produces multi-layer and double-sided PCBs for automotive applications. It has numerous clients which include Volkswagen, BMW, Chrysler, General Motors, Renault, PSA, Ford, Shanghai Temic, Continental Temic, Fujitsu and Samsung. Also, its products are supplied to Temic Mexico, Temic Germany, Temic Canada and Temic Hungary supplied locally to Denso Techno Philippines, Inc.

“The decision is a slap in the face for DDPI and MSC!” was Rev. Fr. Jose Dizon, Executive Director of WAC reaction to the win.

“DDPI and MSC have been deceiving and reaping big profits from contractual workers in complete denial of their regular employment.”

“We at WAC sincerely hope that this case would serve as stern warning to companies which use unscrupulous and pseudo-employers in the form of labor-only contractors which feast on contractual workers sweat and blood. And to contractual workers, may this encourage them to file cases to challenge their employment arrangement where they were forced to believe that they are perpetual contractual with recurring contracts without employer-employee relationship with the company that they work at.”

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