PLDT workers, vote in favor of strike

This article is available in Pilipino

The workers of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) are in favor of launching a strike amid the company management’s refusal to confront the Manggagawa sa Komunikasyon ng Pilipinas (MKP) for negotiations on the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for 2024 -2027. As many as 3,371 members or 99.4% of the total number of those who voted (3,390) and 83.4% of the total membership of the union (4,041) favored the strike.

The workers conducted the strike vote on May 14 to 15 in all PLDT branches and offices nationwide. MKP submitted the poll results to the Regional Conciliation and Mediation Board-National Capital Region. The union official said there will be a seven-day “cooling off period” before launching the strike.

As early as February 19, MKP submitted to the management a notice for negotiations and their demands. But three months later, the company has yet to respond or plan to negotiate with the union. The union said the company deliberately prolongs and delays negotiations to stretch the gap (between CBAs) allowed by Philippine labor laws.

The union said that if the submission of the notice exceeds the deadline of six months, the workers may no longer receive up to eight months of retroactive pay (including additions to the wages of the workers that will be obtained in the CBA). It said the PLDT management insists that the negotiations start in August or September because this is allegedly the “tradition” and routine in the past.

The workers also called for the company to provide its workers adequate equipment and compensation when on duty. Among expenses that the company pass on to its workers include bills for emission testing, car washes and other maintenance expenses for vehicles used in company operations.

They also demanded the regularization of PLDT’s more than 7,000 contractual workers in the installation, repair, and maintenance of lines. The company continues to ignore the Supreme Court ruling in March that PLDT workers should be regularized.

PLDT is the oldest and largest telecommunications company in the country. In 2023, the company’s total revenue swelled to ₱26.1 billion from ₱10.49 billion revenue in 2022. The company is owned by Indonesian billionaire Anthoni Salim through Filipino bourgeois-comprador Manny Pangilinan.

AB: PLDT workers, vote in favor of strike