Yesterday, the 16th day of Goldilocks Strike was a victorious day for the Goldilocks Workers. It was truly a remarkable day for the workers who made a milestone in pursuing their basic right to strike and successfully forged an agreement with the management to break the impasse.

Through the conciliatory efforts of the Department of Labor and Employment, both parties agreed to end the strike on the basis of the following;

1. Effective March 27, the day after the lifting of the strike, status quo for all striking workers should be enforced without any sanctions.
2. For the 94 illegally dismissed striking workers, they are all payroll reinstated upon the lifting of the strike and will take effect until the Court of Appeals has finally ruled on the motion for reconsideration filed by Buklod on the issue of Certification Election and another 60 days time frame for the execution of the said ruling. In the event that the time frame for the implementation of the Certification Election will not be realized, a negotiation for the extension of the time frame would then be decided by both parties. Payroll reinstatement covers not only their salary but also all the benefits due them as regular employee.
3. For the purpose of pursuing a speedy implementation of Certification Election, a special body would be created composed of selective officials from the BLR-DOLE.
4. No retaliatory actions by both parties will be observed.

The Goldilocks strike added a new dimension to the present day struggle of the Filipino workers. For nearly a decade now, the Filipino workers in general were totally devastated as to the ill effects of the onslaught of globalization. Despite the threats and hardships, the Goldilocks workers stood their ground and their courage taught us a lesson that nothing is impossible for as long as you exercise your right on just grounds.

The Goldilocks workers proved that they can withstand the long and tedious strike, fought and frustrate the attempts of the management to break their ranks and lastly, their grim determination to win and openness to all forms of struggle.

We from the BMP (Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino) salute the bravery of the Goldilocks workers. We believe that what they have done will usher a new complexion for the struggle of the Filipino workers.

We also commend the undying support from all our friends, allies and network in the labor front as well as those from various sectors, groups and institutions that one way or another helped us achieve total victory for the Goldilocks workers.

/March 27, 2010
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  1. Not a single workers’ strike recently happened in Goldilocks. Though the legitimate and genuine labor union (BISIG) filed three separate Notices of Strike (Dated 04/24/2008; 07/01/2008; and 10/13/2008), all of these were AJ’d (Assumption of Jurisdiction) by the Labor Secretary effectively averting the supposed strikes to happen.
  2. The activity happening in front of the Goldilocks Plant in Mandaluyong is a picket-protest against the dismissal of 129 officers and members of BISIG.
  3. Contrary to the information that the management and their paid-hacks spread, BISIG won overwhelmingly against BUKLOD (the pro-management union). Here is the breakdown of votes: BISIG – 764; BUKLOD – 653; Spoiled ballots – 38; Challenged votes – 202)
  4. BISIG was already certified as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent of Goldilocks employees since March 17, 2008. This led to BISIG’s letter of intent to commence CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) negotiations on April 16, 2008 but the management refused to heed their call.
  5. DOLE reaffirmed BISIG’s position as the legitimate labor union through a Resolution released by Undersecretary Romeo Lagman on July 8, 2008.  The Goldilocks management still refused to start the CBA process even after the release of this document.
  6. The management only agreed to commence CBA negotiations when the NLRC, through a decision written by Commissioner Nieves Vivar-de Castro, reversed all resolutions that legitimize BISIG. This led to having BUKLOD, the losing pro-management union, as the sole bargaining representative of Goldilocks workers.
  7. A far cry from the standard procedure of sending official government documents by registered mail, the said decision was hand carried by an NLRC employee a day after its promulgation.
  8. There is no truth to the rumor being peddled by the Goldilocks management and their paid-hacks that BISIG and their supporters started the violence that erupted last Friday (March 19). How come that all of the 8 casualties (Danilo Gicana, Wilson Dy, Carlito Geda, Roberto Carrabacan, Ronald Macalalad, Cillo Crucillo, Canuto Barba and Adolfo Manaog) are from the BISIG side? The public must be informed that Goldilocks has a deadly track record in the field of industrial relations. In 1979, three workers were killed and six were wounded when the police tried to disperse a legitimate strike.
  9. Amidst the misinformation being done by the management and their paid-hacks, the cause of Goldilocks workers are gradually gaining support from different labor groups, community organizations, professionals, political leaders, students and even bloggers.
  10. You can support the cause of Goldilocks workers by boycotting Goldilocks products until the resolution of this dispute. You can also forward/re-post this article on your own blog/website or social networking profiles. Better yet, visit their picket line (498 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City) to encourage them and extend moral support.

Dear Friends,

Today February 9, 2009, 129 workers were refused entry by the Goldilocks management. The workers were informed yesterday regarding the latest decision of the NLRC (National Labor Relations Commission) affirming their dismissal.

In turn, the workers staged a picket outside the Goldilocks Plant in Mandaluyong to protest and condemn the unjust decision.

Four years ago, the workers participated in a PCE (Petition for Certification Elections) held in February 28, 2006 as a result of the sixty (60) days freedom period after the 5-year Collective Bargaining agreement covering March 1, 2001 to February 28, 2006 between Goldilocks Bakeshop Inc., and Buklod ng mga Manggagawa sa Goldilocks Bakeshop (BUKLOD) expired. Separate petitions were filed by three groups, namely; KMG-KMM-Katipunan (Kilusan ng mga Manggagawa sa Goldilocks-Kilusan ng mga Manggagawang Makabayan), Bukluran ng Independyenteng Samahan na Itinatag sa Goldilocks (BISIG) and Obrero Pilipino-Goldilocks Employees Association (Obrero-GOLDEA).Being the incumbent union, BUKLOD was considered as forced intervenor for being the incumbent union.

It was a rough sailing for the workers since the management in collusion with the incumbent union (BUKLOD) questioned the petition filed by Obrero-GOLDEA. On the other hand, BUKLOD, filed a petition to cancel BISIG’s certificate of registration.

On May 10, 2006, DOLE-NCR Med-Arbiter Catherine Z. Licaros issued an order directing the conduct of certification of election. In response to the decision, both BUKLOD and Obrero appealed the decision and argued that BISIG and KMG-KMM-Katipunan should be excluded as among the choices in the certification election.

But a resolution was released in September 11, 2006 issued by Undersecretary Luzviminda Padilla dismissing the appeal. Subsequently, an entry of judgment was issued on November 14, 2006 by the Bureau of Labor Relations (BLR) Director Rebecca Chato. The Certification election was finally conducted on March 19, 2007 with the following results;

KMG-KMM-Katipunan———334

BISIG————————–517

OBRERO————————44

BUKLOD———————–581

NO UNION———————-15

__________________________

TOTAL 1491

Because no union garnered the fifty percent plus one (50% plus 1) ruling in the certification election between BUKLOD and BISIG and after hearings on the manifestation, run-off election was scheduled on August 6, 2007 and the result was;

BISIG——————————— 764

BUKLOD——————————653

Spoiled———————————-38

Segregated/Challenged Votes———-202

____________________________

Total Votes: 1,657

Buklod filed a protest in the run-off election and manifested that the segregated ballot must be counted.

On March 17, 2008, seven months later, BISIG was certified as the sole and exclusive bargaining representative of rank and file employees thru the decision issued by Med-Arbiter Atty. Alma Magdaraog-Alma. The decision was appealed by BUKLOD before the office of the Secretary;

Surprisingly on April 10, 2008, the Court of Appeals reinstated the August 11, 2006 Resolution of the then Bureau of Labor Relation OIC-Director Henry Parel delisting BISIG from the roster of legitimate labor organizations. BISIG in turn, immediately filed a motion for reconsideration.

On April 16, 2008, BISIG sent a letter to the Goldilocks Management requesting the latter to commence the collective bargaining negotiation but the management ignored the said letter request. BISIG filed a (NOS) Notice of Strike on April 24, 2008 on the issue of discrimination, harassments and other related issues.

On May 20,2008, the Goldilocks company responded by filing a petition for assumption jurisdiction or Certification for Compulsory Arbitration for the (NOS) Notice of Strike of BISIG dated April 24, 2008. Undersecretary Lourdes Transmonte, then acting Secretary issued a Certificate Order dated May 26, 2008 certifying the labor dispute to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) for compulsory arbitration. The said order was received by BISIG on May 29, 2008.

The conciliation before the NCMB (National Conciliation And Mediation Board, both the Goldilocks Bakeshop Inc representative and BISIG leaders entered into agreement dated June 11, 2008 and agreed to await the office of the (BLR)- Office of the Sec (Osec) will undertake in conjunction with the labor dispute at bench specifically, the issue on Certification election. Additionally, the Union hereby withdraws the instant labor dispute for the sake of industrial peace”.

Days earlier prior to conciliation, BISIG affiliated to AGLO (Association of Genuine Labor Organization) and on June 12, 2008, the Department of Labor and Employment-National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) issued Certificate of Creation of Local Chapter with Certification No PFC-028-2008-CC.

On June 16, 2008, BISIG filed its manifestation with motion to dismiss before the NLRC, praying that the certified case be dismissed in view of BISIG’s withdrawal of its Notice of Strike dated April 24, 2008.

On July 1, 2008, BISIG filed another NOS (Notice of Strike) on the following grounds; 1.Unfair labor practice, 2. Union Busting and other related cases.

On July 8, 2008, Undersecretary Romeo Lagman, by authority of the Secretary, issued a Resolution affirming BISIG’s certification as an exclusive bargaining representative of Goldilocks Bakeshop Inc., rank and file workers and employees.

On July 11, 2008, the management filed its Manifestation with Motion to Subsume before the Office of DOLE Secretary.

On October 13, 2008, three months later, BISIG filed its third Notice of Strike, this time around the grounds were as follows; 1. Unfair labor practice (Refusal to Bargain Collectively) 2. Illegal Suspension, 3. Unjust transfer of Goldilocks SM Cubao Branch to Provinces, 4. Discrimination (selective P13.00 wage increase) and others.

On October 31, 2008, DOLE Secretary Mariano Roque certified the October 13, 2008 BISIG Notice of Strike to Compulsory Arbitration before the NLRC;

The certified Notice of Strike (NOS) was raffled to NLRC Sixth Division composed of Commissioner Nieves Vivar-de Castro (ponente), Commissioner Benedicto R. Palacol (Presiding Commissioner) and Commissioner Isabel G. Panganiban-Ortiguera.

On May 28, 2009, almost seven months later, the NLRC came up with the decision penned by Commissioner Nieves Vivar-de Castro on the issues contained in the Notice of Strike. The decision was promulgated as follows;

1. Ordering Goldilocks to commence collective bargaining negotiation with BUKLOD (the losing union in the certification election)- this is a blatant disregard of what is the rule of law negating the existence of a duly certified bargaining agent, the BISIG-AGLO.

2. Sustaining the legality of the penalty of suspension on Wilson Dy and six other officers, leaders and members of BISIG-AGLO.- this is an outright non recognition of the violations incurred by the Goldilocks Management.

3. Declaring Joel Lachica and four (4) others to have been validly dismissed from employment- affirming the Management not guilty of unfair labor practice.

4. Declaring the demonstration and picketing of more than 120 workers and employees after office hours and eight hours work conducted on May 20 and 27, 2008 to be illegal strike and imposing the following penalties;

a. For having participated in the illegal strikes, the 17 Union officers and Board members are deemed to have lost their employment.

b. For having committed illegal activities during illegal strikes, the one hundred four (104) Union members are deemed terminated from employment.

c. Ordering Goldilocks to grant financial assistance to the terminated Union members only in an amount equivalent to half month pay per year of service as a measure of social justice.

The decision that was promulgated was unusually hand carried by an NLRC employee a day after the promulgation effected last May 27, 2009 to the office of Miralles and Associates Law Office, a far cry from the NLRC tradition where decisions are being sent thru registered mail.

Another questionable decision made was on the case of illegal strike. To where did the NLRC apply an illegal strike when no strike ever took place. Indeed, there were 3 attempts on the Notices of Strike but all these were assumed jurisdiction by the office of the Secretary thereby averting the supposed strike to take place. Only in the Philippines where you exercise your freedom to picket during break time but now constitute as an illegal strike. A “brilliant” decision penned by an equally brilliant commissioner in the person of Commissioner Nieves De Castro.

Yesterday, February 8, 2010, for over eight months now, the NLRC gave its final blow and reaffirmed the dismissal of the 129 union members of the BISIG Labor Union. This time, the decision focused on the illegality of the strike that became the basis of the dismissal. A strike that never took place.

2010 would be a bleak picture for the 129 families of Goldilocks workers and employees. This is the grim reality of our previous slogan, “Goldilocks tumitiba, Manggagawa kinakawawa”. We want to let the whole world know that the Goldilocks Company continues to grow but not their workers.

Our plight is totally unthinkable, the rule of law applies only to those who have power and money and not to people like ours. In our case, there’s no truth on the saying that for those who have less in life should enjoy more in law.

We are deeply saddened of our situation and to our family, our children and our future. There are companies in the Philippines like Goldilocks. We don’t want our case to become a precedent that would be detrimental to other workers and their families.

Please join us in our crusade to fight not only to ourselves but to the Filipino workers. We welcome your support in our struggle. We still do not lose hope. We will continue our fight in all fronts. In turn, we are seeking your support in whatever way you can. These are the ways where you can be of help;

1. Giving material and financial support to our campaign. (We will later provide details of our bank account)

2. You should think twice eating in Goldilocks branches/outlets. The more you patronize the more you support greedy capitalists.

3. Inform all your relatives, friends here in the Philippines and abroad not to patronize anymore Goldilocks. Always remember our slogan, “Goldilocks tumitiba, Manggagawa kinakawawa”.

4. If you cannot avoid eating in their outlets, at least minimize your patronage.

5. Petition all scrupulous and corrupt government officials in the mold of Commissioners De Castro, Ortiguera and Palacol.

6. Support and join our protest activities.

7. Write protest letters to DOLE, NLRC and related government offices and institution and to the Goldilocks management through their branches and offices. You can directly mail your letter or personally deliver your letter to Goldilocks outlets/branches.

8. Propagate our issue and enjoin everyone to become supporters of Goldilocks workers.

In the pursuit of justice for the Filipino workers,

129 dismissed Goldilocks workers and employees

Until now, I have yet to choose what to write on the field labeled as President on the ballot come May 2010. But as of now, it is a toss up between abstain and Chiz Escudero.

Hours before his supposed bombshell, my curiosity prompted me to call a friend who is working for a political marketing firm connected to Senator Chiz Escudero. I asked if they have any idea what would be in store for the said Senator’s press conference that morning. My contact said that they’re not anymore connected to Sen. Escudero. “But you are frat brods, ” I told him and he retorted, “I support him in my personal capacity but I really don’t know what he is supposed to announce today.”

That is very unusual as that person is very much willing to share political information to me as a quid pro quo to me sharing the things I know.

So while I’m at work, I took time to refresh three Philippine news sites (abs-cbnnews.com, gmanews.tv and inquirer.net) every now and then as I don’t want to be left behind about this. And then, the headlines graced Sen. Escudero’s shocking pronouncement that he is resigning from the Nationalist People’s Coalition, his party for the past 11 years.

At first, I don’t know how to react. Instead of dousing water on my curiosity, the information spawned more questions. Does Danding know? How about the NPC leadership? What would Chiz do now? If he runs, who’ll be his machinery?

That confusion continued until the evening news interview between Ted Failon and the senator. But that time, it wasn’t about Danding or the NPC any longer, not even about Chiz’s presidential plans (or the lack of it) or his machinery (or the lack of it again) anymore. My final confusion on the issue is why the senator, known for his courage, isn’t answering Failon’s questions in his trademarked bravery and straightforwardness. Is it because answering it frankly would hurt Danding and the NPC?

I am happy that Chiz, still my favored presidential candidate (Noynoy as far second and the others farther), is the first one to categorically state his position on critical working class issues like labor contractualization. It is way better than Aquino’s motherhood statements, Villar’s non-committal stance and Erap’s demagoguery.

But I’m still finding it hard to fully support him because there seems to be something hidden behind his evasion of Ted Failon’s questions. And when I chanced upon a well-known law dean yesterday, he informed me that his contacts are telling him that Escudero is still a presidential contender.

Yes, I believe that Chiz is still running but, for now, I’m still leaning to abstain. Not until he is courageous against Danding and NPC as he is against Gloria and Lakas-Kampi.

Are you tired of just ranting about your company rules?

My friend Nica Dumlao informed me that the Employees’ League in ICT-enabled Services (E-Lites) is sponsoring a Seminar-Workshop for workers in the Business Process Outsourcing industry this Saturday and Sunday (September 19 & 20) at Gems Hotel in Antipolo City.

She also said that the aforementioned event will be about the Philippine Labor Code, International Labor Standards, and Occupational Safety & Health. The event is entirely free of charge.

E-Lites is the group behind the free concert event for BPO employees at the Penguin Bar in Malate last year.

UPDATE: For those interested in reserving a slot, simply proceed to Chowking Cubao (beside Eurotel) 10am on Saturday and text/call me at 09167706376 or email me (nearestcomfortroom@yahoo.com).

Go not placidly amidst the noise and haste as you may be marked down for dead air. Avoid quiet and passive persons as they may worsen your insomnia. Walk a mile. Your life does not revolve around your workstation. Speak glowingly of the better customers; and heed well their advice, as you will learn to love them as the irate ones call.

Know what to do – and when, and, also, be wary of that annoying echo that sometimes gives some clue whenever you are being monitored. Consider that two wrongs never make a right, but that three may do if only for the joy of being petiks. Whenever possible, put people on hold. Be comforted, that in the face of all irritation and disillusionment, and despite the changing fortunes of time, there are always some incentives due to power hours and good metrics.

Remember the times that your biological clock is still normal. Strive at all times to bend, fold, spindle, and mutilate. Whatever makes you fit. Know thyself. If you need help, avail of a supervisor. Exercise caution in your daily affairs, especially with those closest to you… That Avaya on your left, for instance. Be assured that floorwalking through the seas of most souls would scarcely get your feet wet. Fall not in love, therefore, as the promiscuous culture of the industry may make you jaded. Gracefully surrender the things of day life: the birds, clean air, the sun, Philippine Daily Inquirer- and let not the sands of time get in your lunch. Hire people of blind obedience. For a good time, call 09167706376, ask for Primo. Take heart in the deepening gloom that the pantry is finally serving sensible food. And reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot, it could only be worse in Sprint.

Therefore, make peace with your god, whatever you perceive him to be: your arrogant account manager or a machine meant to withdraw money from. With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal, the industry , cross your fingers, is here to stay. Apir!

*My apologies to Max Ehrmann and the National Lampoon