Capitalists And Money

Bill preserving worker benefits during mergers hurdles panel

PHILSTAR

A HOUSE COMMITTEE approved Wednesday a bill preserving worker benefits and seniority in the event their employers merge.

In a hearing, the House Committee on Labor and Employment approved an unnumbered substitute bill and committee report to House Bill 2633 filed by Trade Union Congress of the Philippines Rep. Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza.

The measure, if passed, would allow job losses only in the event of redundancy resulting from a merger, consolidation, or sale. An employee declared redundant will be granted the opportunity to be employed in a newly created position if minimum qualifications are met.

Union members and other employees in the surviving company will continue to enjoy benefits won under collective bargaining agreement (CBA) before the merger.

If one company’s CBA expires while another remains in effect, the union involved can negotiate new economic provisions.

The bill also provides for a certification election for the merged company to determine which union will represent the surviving company.

Mr. Mendoza said that the bill was filed amid unprecedented merger activity by companies seeking to become “bigger and more competitive,” especially among multinational companies.

“This plethora of previously unfamiliar corporate occurrences creates a trail of novel issues… This is particularly when the issue of the security of tenure, diminution of wages and benefits, and other employment terms and conditions comes to fore,” he said in the bill’s explanatory note. — Russell Louis C. Ku