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Ceneco Union votes to strike

BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO

The Ceneco line crew who assisted with the power restoration activities of Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative that was heavily affected by Typhoon Odette. The Ceneco Union of Rational Employees on Saturday voted to hold a strike.* Ceneco FB Page photo

The “yes” vote dominated the strike vote referendum conducted by Ceneco Union of Rational Employees (CURE) Saturday that was attended by 93 percent of the employees of Central Negros Electric Cooperative.

CURE president Stefannie Montaner said the strike vote referendum was held to get the approval of the employees to hold a strike for the non-implementation by the Ceneco management of the approved Collective Negotiation Agreement (CBA).

Montaner said they had garnered 291 “yes” votes and 31 “no” votes out of the total 322 votes during the referendum Saturday.

They will submit today the result of the referendum to the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) and that is the time they will count day one of the 7-day cooling off period with the Ceneco management, she said.

Montaner, earlier, said the Ceneco management has not implemented the approved CBA until now which include a 5 percent salary increase, even after the holding of the Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) on September 26, 2021 and despite the intervention of the National Electrification Administration (NEA). Instead, Ceneco has set a certain condition that they should attain a collection efficiency of 95 percent which is unattainable given the present situation, she said, adding that no such condition was presented during the negotiation.

The strike could affect the collection, meter reading and other services of Ceneco since their linemen are also union members, she said.

The Ceneco management had said in a statement dated January 27 that they will implement the CBA of CURE and that of the Responsible Supervisory and Confidential Union of Employees (RESCUE), once confirmed by the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

However, they will comply with NEA’s advice on the attainment if 95 percent collection efficiency to ensure financial sustainability of the cooperative prior to its implementation. This is also to assure the member-consumer-members (MCOs) that the service they provide are not affected by the implementation of the CBA, the statement added.

Montaner said that on their side, they will wait for the Department of Labor and Employment to intervene on the matter.

While waiting for their mediation with NCMB, they will continue to hope for positive results within the 7-day cooling off period because, as much as possible, they do not want to hold a strike. But they were left with no choice but to push with their decision because the Ceneco management is not listening to them and has not given them a time table when it will implement the CBA, she added.*

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