39 workers get P26M from steel company in Pampanga

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – A steel manufacturing plant was forced to pay its workers of separation, back wages, and 13th month amounting to P26 million following defeat in the legal battle with its laborers before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) of the Department of Labor and Employment 3 (DOLE3).

The payment was made before the NLRC regional office on May 2, the day after Labor Day celebration.

“We’re happy, this came as a big surprise to us [laborers] ,” said Lucito C. Lucilla, President of the Strong hold Steel Corporation stationed at Barangay Paligui, Apalit, Pampanga.

Lucilla and his group, who trooped to Governor Lilia Pineda office at the Capitol Monday, gladly expressed thanks to the provincial chief executive who personally assist and help them concerning their plight.

“Maraming salamat po mahal namin na gobernador. Dahil po sa inyo, kami sampu ng mga mangagawa ng Stronghold Steel Corporation ay nabigyan ng hustisya,” Lucilla told reporters during interview at the Capitol.

Lucilla received P652,915.78 others got much lower or depending on the length of service with the company.

The group staged strike and held picket line at the main gate of Stronghold Steel Corporation since 2015 due to sudden shutdown of the industrial firm operation, which Lucilla and other workers claimed unlawful.

“SSC failed to settle its obligations including 13th month pay, separation pay and back wages before it stop operating, that is why we were forced to file a complaint before DOLE3 and NLRC3,” said Lucilla.

In a decision penned by Roderick Q. Almeyda, Executive Labor Arbiter, ordered SSC to pay Lucilla and 38 others the amount of P26 million representing separation, 13th month and back wages.

The complaint, Almeyda said agreed to waive their rights to file any complaints against SSC, be it civil or criminal.

The SSC ceased its operation in 2015 for still unknown reason. Efforts to reach the company through its Quezon City office proved futile as no one from the office would like to talk about the issue.

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