DOLE to probe union busting in mobile firm

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) yesterday vowed to investigate allegations of union busting in a mobile phone company.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he wants to find out if there is truth to claims that former employees of Vivo Tech, Inc. were terminated because they formed a union.

Earlier, more than 200 disgruntled employees of Vivo Tech staged a protest rally at DOLE in Intramuros to call the attention of labor officials.

During the mass action, the workers said Vivo Tech fired a total of 689 regular employees without legal basis.

“The company’s alibi is that we were retrenched due to business losses but that’s untrue,” one of the protesters said.

“How can that be when each of us were selling 50 units of cellphones equivalent to P300,000 per month? They’re earning. Our termination from work has no legal cause,” another protester said.

It was learned the workers recently formed a union and had a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the management of the company.

However, the firm failed to comply with its obligations.

They lamented that instead of resolving the matter, the management fired them before conducting mass hiring through a manpower agency.

“That’s a very sad story during the pandemic. But we need to get all the information about this so we can act on it accordingly,” Bello, who is working at home in Isabela to complete his quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, said.

“Before anything, I call on the dismissed workers to formally file a complaint at DOLE so we can fully execute our job on the matter,” Bello said.

The Labor chief said the company will be dealt with accordingly if it turns out to be a union buster.