This post is a continuation of yesterday’s topic, Force Leave or Forced Leave?, regarding the plea of Global Steel Philippine (SPV-AMC) Inc. Labor Union-AWATU [GLOSPILU-AWATU] stating: “We, the GSPI regular workers are on FORCE LEAVE since June 4, 2010 and no regular source of income since then.”.
The Compressed Workweek, one of the Flexible Work Arrangements specified in DOLE Advisory No. 2 Series of 2009 [DA 02] is but a revival of another Department Order No. 021-90 [DO 21] entitled “Guidelines On The Implementation Of Compressed Workweek” issued last 31 August 1990. The rationale then for the implementation of a compressed workweek (CWW) was to avert further damage to the economy brought about by the oil crisis at that time.
Atty. Emerico O. De Guzman (2009), Senior Partner, ACCRALAW, claimed, however, “fifteen years after DO 21 and notwithstanding the issuance of DA 02, there are still legal issues surrounding the implementation of a CWW scheme.” These are:
1. The constitutional right of employees against involuntary servitude:
2. The right to overtime pay:
3. CWW effect on what is considered “practice” under Article 100.
In January 2009, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque urged employers to adopt flexible work arrangements to minimize the effects of the global financial crisis on local employment. Roque said, however, that the adoption of flexible arrangements should be voluntary, thus, it must have the consent of both management and employees (Tan, GMANews.TV, 2009). Soriano (2009) notes:
Global Steel Philippines (SPV-AMC), Inc. [GSPI] started No Scheduled Work [NSW] in November 2008. On 04 December 2008, GSPI’s personnel went on Forced Leave, but they could not avail of their respective leave credits. Interestingly, both instances predate the DOLE’s most recent call for companies to adopt a flexible work arrangements. Similarly, a total of 320 firms from across all industries, with the manufacturing sector leading, availed of allowable flexible work arrangements covering the period October 2008 — May 2009 (Molina, 2009).
In February 2009, Anakpawis Partylist Rep. Rafael Mariano demanded the rescinding of DoLE Advisory No. 2 because it ”only legalized the rampant flexible working conditions already taking place in companies.”
In July 2009, the Institute for Labor Studies issued an rapid appraisal of Flexible Work Arrangements [FWA] which found, among others:
Moreover, Representatives Maglunsod and Mariano (2009) filed House Resolution No. 1234 urging the Department of Labor and Employment [DOLE] to immediately lift DOLE Advisory No. 2 [DA 02] as well as strenuously remind DOLE to issue [sic] orders violative of existing laws. Annotations : Maybe the Representatives meant: NOT to issue such orders?
House of Representatives (2009). Congressional Record, Plenary Proceedings of the 14th Congress, Third Regular Session. Vol. 1, No. 2. Manila: House of Representatives, 28 July 2009. p. 8. back to text.
Molina, Ryan Herman H. (2009). A Rapid Appraisal of Flexible Work Arrangements as a Global Financial Crisis Adjustment Measure. ILS inSights Policy Briefing. Issue 9. Manila: Institute for Labor Studies, July 2009. 2pp. back to text.
Soriano, Maria Teresa M. (2010). Department of Labor and Employment’s Response to the Impact of the Financial Crisis, Asia-Pacific Social Science Review. 9:1 Manila: De La Salle University, 2009. pp. 47-50. back to text.
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