DAVAO CITY – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz together with DOLE Undersecretary for Labor Relations, Social Dialogue and Internal Affairs Rebecca C. Chato and DOLE XI Regional Director Joffrey M. Suyao participated the ceremonial signing of the settlement agreement between Coca-Cola Femsa (KOF) Davao Plants 1 and 2 and the Samahang Manggagawa sa Coca-Cola (SAMACOKE) last Wednesday, March 2, 2016.

Signing the agreement with Sec Baldoz and USec Chato are Davao Plant Manager Florencio M. Caballero, KOF HR and Corporate Affairs Director Juan Carlos Dominguez and SAMACOKE President Alfredo P. Punay Jr. and the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) XI OIC-Director Ma. Theresa M. Francisco.

Sec Baldoz, in her speech, lauded the team who handled the labor dispute headed by Chato, DOLE XI Director Suyao and NCMB XI Director Francisco for their success.

She said that it took about five months before the two parties had come to an agreement.

“It was not easy, we worked together since September 28, 2015. During that time we are looking for mutually acceptable solution, I would say that it was patience from both sides: mutual trust and respect that we shared for the settlement agreement on what matters on this day,” Baldoz said adding that the relationship between KOF and DOLE was made stronger along the way.

The DOLE Secretary also added that she had to cancel previous commitments just to join the ceremonial signing of KOF and SAMACOKE.

“I had to exit two previous commitments and have to dedicate those to other officials just to show that our commitment from day one has not fade and was made stronger by the signing of the agreement today it is a complete package now. Both sides declared to fast track the early settlement and designing of the agreement today,” she said.

“This is a time for love, construction, and volunteering…that is our invitation and our commitment to the management, the union and the department of labor and employment, this is a time to build together to construct and the time for war and the time for death and the time for sadness is over,” Dominguez said.

Both parties have come to a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on their work schedules and payment adjustments.

Punay and Caballero in their speeches also expressed their gratitude on this settlement and also looked forward for this CBA to strengthen their work relationship in the Davao Plants.

Baldoz also thanks SAMACOKE President Punay and its members for setting as an example for other unions.

“Nagpapasalamat ako kay sir Punay at ang kanyang negotiating team (I thank sir Punay and his negotiating team) because he let the Davao Plant pave the way and take the lead in this, after they have seen how they have done it the other plants will just follow and fall into their proper places,” she said.

This is the first settled labor dispute among KOF plants’ union in the country.

Kriztja Marae G. Labrador/LCO-DOLEXI