SC: Retrenched Workers Not Entitled to Retirement Benefits

Article excerpt

The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed a Court of Appeals (CA) decision that denied the plea of 38 retrenched workers of the National Steel Corp. (NSC) for retirement benefits after they had received full compensation through a separation package offered by the firm and had signed quitclaims in 1997.

In a decision written by Justice Teresita J. Leonardo de Castro, the SC said the CA was correct in its ruling because each of the retrenched workers had received separation pay equivalent to two months salary for every year of service, leave balance credits, 13th month pay, and uniform and rice subsidy differentials, and had signed quitclaims acknowledging full and final payment due them as a result of their employment.

The retrenched workers who signed the petition before the SC were Flavio S. Suarez Jr., Renato A. De Asis, Francisco G. Adorable, Joven Andaloc, Onofre G. Bagayo, Genito J. Banggo, Wendelino L. Berondo, Napoleon P. Bulos, Isidro S. Dadang, Teodoro P. Dotaro, Noida T. Dungog, Erolito A. Edrozo, Roberto A. Emphasis, Gideon S. Geonzon, Lamberto S. Geonzon, Jaime A. Herrera, Carlos V. Jacinto, Jerry B. Jumamil, Allan P. Lacida, Edwin L. Lagbas, Veronica H. Leuterio, Edilberto L. Lucot, Avelino S. Manquiquis, Lydio R. Novises, Rogelio T. Pansacala, Bernardino N. Pernia, Joaquin R. Quindo, Carmelo A. Rabor, Rodolfo C. Reynes, Primo C. Suerte, Teodulo D. Tanudra, Myrna E. Valdehueza, Ramon T. Versola, Pableo S. Lozano, SE Martinez, JH Torrion, CA Tamiroy and AR. Antipolo.

They were among 700 steel workers based at the NSC's main plant in Iligan City who were retrenched on Aug. 18, 1994 after the steel firm suffered substantial financial losses due to an increase in the volume of steel products manufactured by foreign countries.

At the time of their retrenchment, NSC and the National Steel Labor Union-Federation of Free Workers (NASLUFFW), the certified collective bargaining agent of the rank and file employees, were negotiating for the renewal of their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which expired on June 30, 1994. …