LABOR groups rejected anew the Department of Labor and Employment’s new rules against contractual employment schemes and said the new department order will only perpetuate the epidemic of contractualization.
The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines rejected the rules which Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III hoped would end labor contractualization, locally called “endo,” where employment contracts are deliberately terminated before the sixth month to avoid required benefits.
But the ALU-TUCP said that while the new order speaks about prohibiting contractualization but ends up allowing agency hiring in many forms.
ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay said the order prohibits labor-only contracting and the so-called cabo system but those are already prohibited by law anyway.
“While it prohibits the contractualization of jobs directly related to main business and subject to control of principal, interpretation disputes shall mean expensive and wearisome litigation in the DoLE, NLRC and the courts,” he said.
“Only in-house agencies and labor cooperatives are not allowed to operate. Independent contractors are permitted, the DO opens floodgates to agencies to set up shops. This will enhance cutthroat competition among contractors bidding down salaries and benefits of their employees,” Tanjusay said.
“The more contractuals the country will have, the harder it will be to monitor and regulate. DoLE’s inspection capacity is a chronic problem that also has to be addressed,” he added.
Bello earlier said the order prohibits labor-only contracting, farming out work to a “cabo,” contracting out of job or work through an in-house agency, contracting out of job or work through an in-house cooperative that merely supplies workers to its principal, contracting out of a job or work because of a strike or lockout, whether actual or imminent and contracting out of a job or work being performed by union members and such will interfere or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights to self-organization.
“The DO likewise required the contractor’s or subcontractors’ employees to perform functions which are currently being performed by the regular employees of the principal, and to sign, as a precondition to employment or continued employment, an antedated resignation letter, a blank payroll, a waiver of labor standards, including minimum wages and social or welfare benefits, or a quit claim releasing the principal or contractor from liability as to payment of future claims, or require the employee to be a member of a cooperative,” Silvestre said.