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Fired workers reject offer

Some terminated Holcim workers declined the offer of Fort Steel to rehire them during the mediation meeting at Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) XI last Thursday.

Last March 4, contracts of 141 workers were terminated without prior notice with a DOLE XI representative as witness.

Out of 141 terminated workers, 59 of them were offered rehiring with two years of contract.

However, only 41 workers accepted it.

Under the contract, workers should no longer claim for regularization or protest against contractualization after they availed the settlement and signed a waiver and quit claim.

The remaining 18 workers who rejected the offer were under the Davao Holcim Employees and Workers Union (DAHEWU), the group that protested outside the DOLE XI building last March 5.

Workers also declined to accept compensation ranging from P90,000 to P95,000 in hopes to get hired again once the issue is settled.

Joel Bañas, chair of labor group Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro), said these workers were hesitant to accept the offer “because they wanted everyone who was fired to return to work.”

Bañas also explained that this is not about the amount of the compensation but on the illegality of the termination process.

Despite a massive call to end contractualization in the country, the employer still denies security of tenure among workers, according to Bañas.

Some workers have also expressed disappointment over the effort of DOLE to mediate the conflict between Holcim and its workers.

“We are asking the DOLE to act according to their mission and mandate to really protect and promote decent and gainful employment.”

Fort Steel provides manpower to Holcim.

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