DOLE assumes jurisdiction of Ceneco labor dispute

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The Department of Labor and Employment in Western Visayas has assumed jurisdiction of the labor dispute between the management of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative and its unionized employees.

As such, the strike initially set anytime this week cannot push through, even if both parties failed to reach any agreement in their third round of talks before the National Mediation and Conciliation Board Feb. 7, Ceneco OIC general manager, Engr. Jose Taniongon, told the Negros NOW Daily.

Taniongon said the DOLE 6 has issued a notice of taking over, and both parties should wait for the resolution of the case, although they can continue with their negotiations with the NCMB.

The employees are asking for the release of their Collective Bargaining Agreement signing bonus and wage increase since last year but the management cannot release it now since they are bounded by the guidelines of the National Electrification Administration to attain first a 95 percent collection efficiency.

Taniongon said that Ceneco’s collection efficiency is only at 92 percent.

On Jan. 29, the Ceneco union voted to stage a strike while the management sought for the DOLE intervention.

Taniongon said the management will wait for another schedule of negotiations before the NCMB, or the possibility that the issue will be raised to the National Labor Relations Commission. — MML