An additional of one (1) day for August 21, 2018 holiday will be paid to each employee  for union members of Igloo Philippines Labor Union (IPLU) who did not work on said date  after AVA Elmer D. Nitura settled their voluntary arbitration case, Director Feliciano R. Orihuela, Jr. announced recently.

Orihuela, in her report to OIC Director Maria Teresita L. Cancio, said that the union initially filed a Notice to Arbitrate Case (NTA) against Igloo Supply Chain Philippines, Inc. claiming holiday pay for August 21, 2018 (Ninoy Aquino Day) per CBA and legal holiday pay for Ed’l Adha.  Later, they decided to submit to voluntary arbitration the issues of: 1.) Union asking for double compensation for August 21, 2018 (200% pay for those who did not work; and, 2.) Whether or not August 21, 2018 as Ninoy Aquino day be paid of holiday pay as provided for the CBA and likewise be paid of holiday pay as Ed’l Adha.

After two (2) hearings, or on January 15, 2019, the parties appeared and informed AVA Nitura that they have agreed to settle the issue following the guidelines and parameters explained to them by AVA Nitura during the initial hearing on December 04, 2018.  AVA Nitura released an Order dated January 15, 2019 on January 24, 2019, approving the agreement and considered it closed and terminated.

“The settlement of the foregoing voluntary arbitration case prevented the parties to secure a lawyer, pay for their legal fees and submit necessary pleadings as required before rendition of decision,” Cancio said. “Likewise, AVA Nitura waived his arbitration fees,” Cancio added.

Notice to Arbitrate is the process introduced under DO 40-03 to operationalize the arbitration clauses in the CBA, which are sometimes ignored by one of the parties.  If the issue are grievable and are initially processed under the grievance procedure but did not proceed to its terminal step, the willing party may file to the NCMB Branch a Notice to Arbitrate to initiate the arbitration proceedings.

Under these schemes, complaints filed at the NCMB Branch are processed thru conciliation as the initial step. If the complaint is not settled despite conciliation-mediation efforts, the same is referred to voluntary arbitration.  Selection of voluntary arbitrator is facilitated by the Branch.  Voluntary Arbitration is the terminal step of any unresolved grievances.

– Renato R. Canutal