By Jun Cinco
Published: July 11, 2012
Joining Pantranco workers’ picket in front of the Department of Transportation and Communications main office in Ortigas, Quezon City, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned Sec. Mar Roxas today for cancelling the awarding of the company’s franchises to a buyer, saying he is doing harm to Pantranco’s former employees.
Roxas claimed that the franchises have already “expired” and should not have been “resurrected” by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, contrary to a ruling of the Court of Appeals and the National Labor Relations Commission awarding the franchises to workers as payment for the latter’s claims.
“Mar’s decision is most harmful to the former workers of Pantranco. We cannot help but think that he is acting on behalf of the Aquino government’s allies in the provincial bus industry,” said Sammy Malunes, KMU vice-chairperson for federation affairs.
“Mar is doing another injustice to the workers of Pantranco, who have been wronged before by the government, their former employer,” he added.
“The workers of Pantranco have fought the injustice done to them and won – until Mar steps into the picture. They are already old and deserve not another injustice from the government, but the government’s help in seeking justice,” he said.
In 1993, the Supreme Court ruled that the more than 2,000 Pantranco workers, who filed labor cases against the former government-owned and controlled corporation, are entitled to back wages, retirement benefits and other monetary benefits.
“The workers of Pantranco stand on solid moral and legal ground. Mar should stop acting like the government is the aggrieved party in this issue and that he is advancing the government’s ‘matuwid na daan (straight path)’ campaign,” Malunes said.
“It is the former workers of Pantranco who are the aggrieved party in this issue, and the Aquino government, acting on behalf of its allies in the provincial bus industry, is the evildoer,” he added.
KMU called on the workers of Pantranco to continue fighting for justice over their labor claims.
“We call on the former workers of Pantranco to remain united and fight for what is just. Mar is inadvertently compelling them to launch various actions to show their united and just stand,” Malunes said.