Petron open for talks with Bataan Refiners Union

BALANGA CITY – “We are saddened by the decision of the officers of the labor union of the Petron Bataan Refinery to stage a strike, despite the signing of their Collective Bargaining Agreement last October 30, 2019.”

So goes a part of the official press statement of Petron Corporation sent to iOrbitNews by their media relations officer Ms. Kai Palaganas on Monday night since the Bataan Refiners Union of the Philippines (BRUP) working at the Petron Bataan Refinery (PBR) staged a labor strike over alleged union-busting and noncompliance by management with their collective bargaining agreement. 

On their second day, Sunday, Sec. Silvestre Bello III of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued an Assumption Order to the strikers to get back to their work. 

“Ganap na alas 7:20 ng umaga ng ika 6 na araw ng Enero, kami po ay hindi pinapasok sa aming mahal na kumpanya sa kabila ng Return to work order na binigay ni Sec. Bello ng DOLE. Pinagtibay nila ang Preventive Suspension sa kadahilanang illegal daw ang aming naging Strike.Taliwas ito sa Assumption Order ng Department of Labor and Employment,” Gerald Medina, president of BRUP lamented via his Facebook post. 

The said group, Medina added, has more than 630 members and 176 of them has been terminated even before the labor strike started.  But according to the Petron management, “during the CBA negotiations, the company met their demands, and both management and union reached an agreement that protects the jobs of employees while allowing the company to stay competitive in these challenging times.”

The statement also stated that, “apart from salaries and benefits including overtime pay, they also have guaranteed increases and bonuses that are way, way above what the oil industry, in particular, offers. Specifically, our rank-and-file employees at the refinery get an average compensation of over P100,000.00 per month including overtime pay, allowances and non-cash benefits.”

But Medina’s group denied this part of Petron statement saying,” Gusto nyo ma settle? Ayaw nyo nga makipag usap sa amin! Tapos hindi nyo sinunod ang order ng DOLE. Dyan kayo magaling mag deny.”

Medina’s reaction was also posted on his Facebook page with screenshots of Petron official statement published on CNN Philippines. 

“Still, while their actions are regrettable, we remain hopeful that the new issues they are raising can be settled soon.We remain open to them and welcome the opportunity to sit down and talk. Petron remains committed to building a stronger future and promoting the welfare and best interest of all its employees,” Petron management stated.