Labor group assails DOLE order extending workers’ ‘floating status’

Published October 29, 2020, 3:01 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The Partido Manggagawa (PM) on Thursday decried the latest order of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) allowing the extension of the floating status of workers to one year for being “pro-employer.”

(JANSEN ROMERO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULELTIN)

In a statement, PM national chair Rene Magtubo said Department Order 215 is pro-employer as it allows employers to evade payment of separation benefits to workers who have been on forced leave for more than six months.

He added: “DO 215 is another example of DOLE’s social distancing from workers in the time of Covid.”

PM called on the DoLE to recall DO 215 and submit the proposal to the deliberation of the National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council where labor, employers and government are represented. 

“We appeal to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello to recall DO 215. DOLE orders should be subject to tripartite agreement and not be unilateral decisions of government,” Magtubo said.

He also answered DOLE’s claim that the Labor Code is silent on the floating status of workers: “Article 310 provides that workers are deemed not terminated—meaning employees are put on forced leave or floating status—when the operations of a company are suspended, which is the scenario at present. But Article 301 explicitly mandates that such suspension cannot exceed six months—and for good reason more than half a year is too long for workers to suffer on no work, no pay.”

PM said thousands of workers have already filed complaints for constructive dismissal because their employers have not reinstated them since the lockdown started in March. 

“Who will benefit from the dismissal of these cases because of DO 215? Thus the DOLE is being disingenuous when it says that DO 215 is protective of workers,” Magtubo said.

PM called on workers to express opposition to DO 215.

 
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