Landbank employees threaten to go on strike. BusinessWorld (Philippines)
April 04, 2002 | Copyright
Byline: Felipe F. Salvosa II
Employees of state-run Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) yesterday
vowed to stage nationwide protest actions after bank management refused
to grant them a salary increase as part of a new collective negotiation
The 6,000-strong Land Bank of the
Philippines Employees Association (LBPEA) said in a statement that it
is rejecting the management panel's proposal for a review of the
company's existing compensation package before granting any salary
"Despite an income of P1.5 billion last year, it is
clear that they do not want to grant the rank-and-file employees any
substantial increases in benefits. They have no respect for and mock
our constitutional rights to collective bargaining and negotiation,"
LBPEA president Manuel Donato III said.
In the proposal
presented to the employees last February 8, Landbank said the review is
to be conducted within 90 days from the signing of the CNA, "with the
view of making the total compensation package comparable to the private
But LBPEA claims management's proposal is a
"motherhood statement of its 'good and sincere intentions,' which is
not time-bound, nor quantified nor qualified."
"In short, their counterproposal is worthless," the group said.
Land Bank CNA negotiations collapsed last March 21 after the LBPEA
panel declared a deadlock on seven major issues including compensation,
merit increases, and other allowances.
Particularly, LBPEA is
demanding an "immediate upfront payment" of P1,250 per employee while
management is reviewing the company's compensation plan.
LBPEA also wants salaries to be at par with the basic pay of regular
government employees, in compliance with Republic Act No. 6758 or the
Salary Standardization Law.
"It is a fact that the Landbank
rank-and-file, especially those newly hired or regularized, have the
lowest basic pay among government employees. We have the most inferior
benefits among government financial institutions," Mr. Donato claimed.
Management and the labor panel had earlier agreed on 52
noneconomic and political issues. Negotiations for the government-run
bank's first CNA began last October after LBPEA gained
sole-and-exclusive bargaining agent status from the Civil Service
Commission in July 2001.
Landbank management, meanwhile,
appealed for calm, saying the bank cannot afford a disruption in
operations as it is serving a national clientele.
dealing here with small and medium enterprises, farmers' cooperatives,
fisherfolk, as well as the local governments," Landbank corporate
affairs head Conrado Roxas told BusinessWorld in a telephone interview.
Currently, Landbank has a total of 348 branches in 79
provinces all over the country. Total number of depositors as of
February stands at 1.864 million, data from the bank show. The bank
employs a total of 8,400 workers.
Mr. Roxas also urged the
protesting employees to return to the negotiating table, saying bank
management is willing "to reach out to them again."
"Generally, management is willing to give a salary increase. But we
have to look at sustainability," he said. "You don't give all of the
P1.5 billion to the workers if you want to be prudent and ensure the
bank's continued operation," Mr. Roxas added.
said, is proposing to change the venue of negotiations to either Baguio
or Tagaytay "to cool things a little bit."
"This seems to be a
breakdown in communications because everyone has been tired with the
negotiations. But both sides deserve to be given a pat on the back
considering that 52 (CNA) issues have already been agreed upon," Mr.