DOLE asks CA to reverse decision vs worker regularization in PLDT
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) asked the Court of Appeals (CA) on Wednesday, August 22 to reverse its July 31 ruling, which effectively voided the regularization order to PLDT Incorporated.
On Wednesday, DOLE, through the Solicitor General Jose Calida, filed a 59-page motion for reconsideration which pointed out that PLDT "had a degree of control" over the contractors' workers.
"The Honorable Court should have considered the totality of the factors surrounding the relationship between PLDT and its individual contractors," Calida said.
"[These factors] would show that these contractors are labor-only contractors, due not only the nature of the services they perform for PLDT, but due to the degree of control that PLDT exercises over their workers, or to their lack of an independent business," Calida added.
In its July 31 decision, CA said that not all 7,300 workers from PLDT contractors are entitled to regularization, cutting down the number of workers to be placed in permanent positions.
CA also ordered DOLE to "conduct further proceedings" on regularizing individuals performing installation, repair, and maintenance services.
Calida argued that DOLE had "critically examined" the case, and that the labor inspection findings were not made "arbitrarily nor in a despotic manner."
"Public respondent [Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III] critically examined the case for each and every contractor involved, as well as PLDT itself, through both the appeals and the motions for reconsideration," Calida said.
In January, DOLE had ordered PLDT to regularize more than 7,300 workers from 38 contractors, and issued cease and desist orders to the contractors.
DOLE said PLDT engaged in labor-only contracting schemes, wherein its contractors performed duties that are part of the telco's core functions, or exercised a certain level of control over the said employees.
Based on the order, PLDT should also pay the workers P51.6 million in unpaid monetary benefits.