Partido ng Manggagawa
Former Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, known in the labor sector as the architect of the 10-year moratorium on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the Philippine Airlines and the Philippine Airlines Employees Association in 1998, may have been instrumental in the crafting of Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz’s recent order allowing the contractualization of PAL employees, according to the labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).
According to PM Chair Renato Magtubo, it is the law firm of Laguesma that represents PAL in its labor cases and he was Baldoz’s big boss when he presided over the union-busting and CBA moratorium of PAL way back in 1998. In addition, Laguesma’s wife works as a manager in the interline accounting division of PAL, according to PALEA.
“Baldoz can be the contractualization queen in the labor department but behind her is the king of all contractualization schemes in the country in the person of Laguesma,” said Magtubo.
During his stint as partylist representative in Congress, Magtubo had been very vocal in opposing the 1998 CBA moratorium as it violates the Constitution and he was even brought before the ethics committee for accusing his colleagues in the House of being in the pockets of Lucio Tan for their deafening silence on the issue.
“In both 1998 and 2010 DOLE decisions, labor laws were twisted in favor of Lucio Tan. And the motive was clear: It was a ruthless 12 year campaign to annihilate the PAL unions through the legalization and institutionalization of contractualization schemes,” explained Magtubo.
Magtubo also disclosed that aside from PAL, Laguesma’s law firm is notorious in defending big companies employing contractualization schemes. This includes the ABS-CBN’s Internal Job Market (IJM) scheme that prevented the regularization of hundreds of its employees. Meanwhile the same Laguesma law firm is representing the giant electronics firm Yazaki EMI in Cavite in a pending case at the office of the Labor Secretary to defeat the unionization effort among supervisory employees.