DOLE facilitates release of PHP11-M backpay to former employees of Manila Toll Expressway

December 21, 2015 12:22 pm 

MANILA, Dec. 21 — A conciliation-mediation conference undertaken by the Department of Labor and Employment – Legal Service upheld the labor complaint of 20 former employees of Manila Toll Expressway, System, Inc. (MATES) that eventually enabled them to receive PHP550,000, each, or a total of PHP11 million, as settlement of their awards for separation pay, attorney’s fees and full back wages.

The conciliation-mediation conference, handled by the DOLE-Legal Service, lawyer Florence Daquioag, together with lawyers Earl Louie Masacayan and Nathaniel Barrairo, granted the benefits to the former MATES employees by virtue the Feb. 25, 2013 decision and Aug. 27, 2015 resolution issued by the DOLE.

The 20 former employees were among the 107 complainants in the case “In Re: Labor Dispute at Manila Toll Expressway, System, Inc.” docketed as OS-VA-005-2011 (SEAD-NCR-MPFO-006-06-11).

They were hired by the Manila Toll Expressway, System, Inc. (MATES), a corporation involved in the operations and maintenance of the Alabang-Calamba portion of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), as Toll Tellers operating the tollbooths along the Alabang to Calamba (ACTEX) segment sometime in December 2009.

However, after the third training agreement, on June 1, 2011, the former employees filed a complaint for regularization, illegal dismissal and money claims before the DOLE-NCR.

Conciliation-mediation conferences were conducted by the DOLE Field Office but no amicable settlement was reached. Thus, the parties agreed to submit the case for voluntary arbitration by the DOLE secretary.

The Office of the Secretary conducted conciliation conferences to exhaust possible remedies for the amicable settlement of the dispute. Out of the 107 complainants, 87 opted to receive their separation pay but the remaining 20 chose to pursue their complaint.

On Feb. 25, 2013, DOLE Sec. Rosalinda Baldoz issued a decision declaring the 20 former employees to have attained regular status and directing MATES, in lieu of reinstatement, to pay them separation package as those given to the 87 workers and pay the attorney’s fees equivalent to 10 percent of the total amount awarded.

However, both parties filed their respective motion for reconsideration from such decision.

On Aug. 27, 2015, Acting Sec. Rebecca Chato issued a resolution modifying the decision, wherein an additional award of full back wages to the former employees was granted.

However, the claim for reinstatement of the former employees and MATES’ motion for reconsideration were denied.

On 18 Sept. 18, 2015, 20 former employees of MATES sent a letter requesting DOLE to the conduct a conciliation-mediation conference to discuss the possible settlement of their awards pursuant to the Feb. 25, 2013 decision and 27 August 2015 resolution issued by the DOLE.

Acting on the above request, the DOLE-Legal Service, under the Conciliation and Mediation Unit-Office of the Secretary (OSEC-CMU), issued a Notice of Conference requesting Manila Toll Expressway, System, Inc. and its former employees to appear for the scheduled conference.(PNA)

JMC/PR/EBP

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