Workers of Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc, win battle for regularization

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The contractual workers of Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. (RRHI), who are members of the Handyman Empowered Workers Union (HANEP), succeeded in their demand for their right to be regularized after a three-year collective struggle. The recently released decision of Labor Arbiter Remedios Tirad-Capinig orders the company to employ them as regulars.

According to the decision, it was shown in the complaint submitted by the workers that RRHI entered into an illegal “labor-only contracting” agreement. Because of this, it sided with the case filed by 83 workers of the company and ordered regularization, and sentenced the company to pay moral and exemplary damages and fees for the workers’ lawyer.

RRHI workers, who work in the warehouse of its business units Handyman, True Value, and Robinsons Builders, began unionizing in 2020. They went on strike in November of that year against union busting. The strike led to back-to-work orders inside the warehouse, payroll reinstatement of union leaders, and the filing of a regularization case.

The RRHI company is owned by the Gokongwei family. It recorded the highest net sales in 2022 which reached ₱178.8 billion or 16.6% higher than in 2021. That year, the company had a total of 2,310 stores which include supermarkets, department stores, convenience stores and others. It also has 2,151 franchises of their pharmacy.

AB: Workers of Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc, win battle for regularization