Press Releases
FINALLY, GRACELAND ESTATE WORKERS RECEIVED LONG OVERDUE MONETARY CLAIM


The workers of Graceland Estates and Country Club while receiving the initial release of their monetary claim held at the QPO Conference Room on June 27, 2019. Also in the picture are QPO Head Edwin T. Hernandez (blue polo shirt in the middle), Mr. Butch Peña of AGLO, Mr. Teddy Reforma workers’ representative and Graceland’s Operation Head Mei-Lan O. Bolompo.

“All labor has dignity. And the way that we give labor dignity is by paying people the respect and the value that they are worth at minimum.” – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

After almost eight long years of waiting, the workers of Graceland Estate and Country Club located at Tayabas, Quezon finally got hold of their money claims. Looking back, it all began when the DOLE IV-A regional office issued an order of compliance on December 27, 2011 to the management of Graceland directing the same to pay the affected workers the amount of P4,032,379.40 for underpayment of wages and non-payment of wage related benefits. The order was then appealed by management to the Office of the Secretary who then resolved the same in favor of the workers on January 9, 2013. However, on May 31 and July 11, 2016 management submitted to DOLE a notarized quitclaim and release which became the basis for the eventual dismissal of the case.

Sometime in June 2017 three workers of Graceland submitted a letter to the Quezon Provincial Office requesting the same to reopen the case since allegedly no payment of money claims took place on May 31 and July 11, 2016. Accordingly, the submitted quitclaim was marred with irregularities. This prompted then Regional Director Ma. Zenaida A. Angara Campita to recall the order of dismissal and reopen the case in the interest of justice.

The event began a legal battle at DOLE IV-A which sooner led to the organization of the Samahan ng Manggagawa ng Graceland Estate and Country Club – AGLO in 2019. During the certification election the union losses to management, however, the workers did not lose hope that someday they will receive their long overdue money claims.

Indeed, that day came and in July 2019 Graceland’s Operation Head Ms. Mei-Lan M. Bolompo met with QPO Head Edwin T. Hernandez and offered their proposal for settlement. On June 27, 2019, the proposal for settlement was accepted by the affected workers and as a sign of good will management released the initial payment amounting to P93,589.41. The money claims will be paid in a staggard basis beginning July 2019 until January 2020. The total amount of the monetary award is P1,136,363.60.

The workers are very thankful to the present leadership of DOLE from the Provincial Head, Regional Director and the Secretary. “Ibang iba po talaga ngayon ang DOLE mula sa aming minamahal na Provincial Head sa Quezon Sir Edwin Hernandez, sa ating Regional Director Henry Jalbuena at pinagpipitaganang Secretary Silvestre Bello III. Ibinalik ng pagkakataong ito ang aming tiwala sa DOLE na nawala ng mahabang panahon dahil sa pagkakaantala ng pagbibigay ng benepisyo na dapat ay matagal na naming nakuha at maiaayos na din ng pangyayaring ito ang relasyon ng manggagawa sa aming employer na Graceland. Tunay ngang gumugulong pa din ang hustisya para sa manggagawa,” says Teddy Reforma, one of the affected workers of Graceland and their acting leader. They also expressed their thanks and appreciation to the Association of Genuine Labor Organizations (AGLO) Vice President for Organization Mr. Butch Peña for assisting them in going through the process. Now, the workers have something to enjoy with – justice has been served and better management employee relation.


by:

EDWIN T. HERNANDEZ
Head, Quezon Provincial Office

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2019-07-11
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