Dole PH lays off 500 workers

GENERAL SANTOS CITY- Some 500 workers of Dole Philippines Inc., a fruit processing firm in Polomolok, South Cotabato, lost their jobs after the company implemented its retrenchment program amid the economic slump brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Jeremiah Mari Diana, the company’s corporate communications supervisor, said Dole Phils. started the retrenchment program last September 18 in a bid to sustain the operations of the company in the face of economic slump caused by the pandemic.

Dole Phils. is owned by Itochu Corp. of Japan, which maintains the 13,0000-hectare pineapple plantation in Polomolok, South Cotabato.

Based on its company profile, Dole Phils. Had 30,000 workers under its employ as of 2018.

Diana said the company implemented the retrenchment in scheme in accordance with labor laws wherein the workers were given notice of their termination a month before.

He said the dismissed workers were also given livelihood programs as part of the retrenchment package.

However, several dismissed employees lamented that the company did not give prior notice about their retrenchment, and were shocked to learn about  their walking papers  only when they reported back for work.      

Most of the dismissed workers were assigned in the production and operation departments.