MANILA — More than 400 former workers at a slipper factory in Novaliches that closed down in 1994 after supposedly experiencing bankruptcy have finally received their separation pay.
A workers’ union filed a case against the company due to an alleged illegal shut down, and non-payment of salaries and separation pay.
The case reached the Supreme Court which ruled in favor of the workers. Some 718 workers are running after over P137 million as payment from Rubberworld based on a Supreme Court order in July 2000.
However the company has only given P28 million pesos so far. For this reason the workers’ union is seeking for the rest of the amount to be given immediately.
“Kasi ito po ang aming inaasahan ng aming pamilya sabi nga ni Usec eh mag- negosyo, pero iyong makukua natin ngayon wala na iyong value ng pera sa tagal na inabot ng kaso (Our families are counting on this. As Undersecretary had said, start a business, but the amount we will be receiving has diminished in value due to the long time it took the case to be resolved),” said LMRAA president, Sonia Esperanza.
The former employees are thankful for getting the amount they have long worked for.
‘Una nagpapasalamat ako sa Panginoon number one iyon… kung wala siya wala tayong magagawa… salamat at natanggap ang halagang iyon,” said Emily Balo, a former worker at Rubberworld Inc. (First of all, I want to thank God…without Him, we can’t do anything… Thank you, Lord, for having us receive this amount.)
“Noong una sabi ko bakit kapag natanggal ako baka hindi na kami makakain kasi nag-iisa lang ako, single mom ako. Sa awa naman ng Dios nakaraos kahit papano makakatulong naman, ang maliit na bagay pwede naming palakihin,” said Angeles Baylen a former worker in the factory. (When I lost my job there, I feared that we could no longer survive because i am a single mom. Thank god we were able to survive. This can help. We can make small things big.)
The Department of Labor (DOLE) considers this a success for workers. The labor department has committed to focusing on the case until the workers get what is rightfully theirs.
“Binabati ko kayo. Sa wakas ay nagwagi kayo sa inyong pinaglalaban na karapatan ng manggagawa (I congratulate you. Finally you have won on your fight for the rights of ordinary workers),” DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said to the former Rubberworld employees. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue
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