Dole workers go on strike

MFV, Sun.Star, Monday 08 September 2003

OFFICE and technical workers at the giant pineapple company Dole Philippines Inc. (Dolefil) went on strike Friday over a deadlock in their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations.

Members of the Associated Labor Union (ALU), an affiliate of the conservative Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), are asking for an eight percent salary hike and a P12,000 signing bonus, which the management reportedly refused to give.

Sources said Dolefil management is only willing to grant the striking employees a seven percent increase in the their salaries.

Management is also only willing to give P8,000 in signing bonus.

Dolefil management and employees are renegotiating the economic provisions of the remaining two years of their CBA.

Based on company records, 29 percent of the 185 office and technical employees of Dolefil are now receiving over P15,000 in monthly salary.

Some 36 percent are receiving between P10,000 to 15,000 a month while the rest are earning below P10,000.

The average length of service of Dolefil office and technical employees is around 17.16 years.

Employees earlier won a 30 percent increase in their salaries over the past three years of their CBA.

They are also enjoying bottom line bonuses each equivalent to a maximum of eight weeks pay.

Management however claimed they are already giving their employees salaries well above the industry standard.

They said Dolefil employees are receiving an average of P870 daily pay.