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Power Watch slams notice of strike

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Power Watch Negros condemned in the strongest possible terms the intended labor strike initiated by the new president of the CENECO Union of Rational Employees (CURE), a press release from Power Watch said.

CURE president Felix Gepilga, Jr. hatched this insidious activity in a Notice of Strike (NOS) filed recently without considering its disastrous consequences, the press release began.

The reasons were the same as stated in their previous NOSs that were dismissed by the Department of Labor and Employment Secretary.

Power Watch Negros secretary-general Wennie Sancho lamented that this concerted action by the CURE is adverse to the interests and welfare of all electricity consumers in the franchise area of CENECO. It will wreak havoc on every household of all consumers. The majority of business operations will grind to a halt if there is no power supply. Construction and other business activities will stop, resulting in losses worth billions of pesos.

If the operation of CENECO as a distribution utility is paralyzed, it would result in economic devastation of unparalleled proportions. It shall cause irreparable damage to the lives of the people. Lives would be lost if hospitals could not attend to the sick and the dying, the press release continued.

The function of the local government will be suspended, exacerbating the situation amid the water crisis in Bacolod City. Is the union’s leadership aware of these devastating consequences as a result of their impending strike? Unfortunately, the union leadership does not respect our rights as consumers. They don’t care what will happen to us and our families as long as they get their unreasonable demand by launching a strike, regardless of the consequences that pose a threat to public welfare, it said further.

Despite the magnanimous and even bountiful offer by the Central Negros Electric Coop (CENECO) for their separation and or retirement pay and the preference for rehiring to Negros Electric and Power Corp. (NEPC), the union refused the offer and pushed their illogical demand to be “absorbed” by NEPC as employees automatically. This is a manifestation of their selfish desire not to let go of their exorbitant salaries and wages, fat bonuses, and other perks, the press release asserted.

The sentiments of these disobedience workers who oppose the granting of the NEPC franchise, sprung from their deep-seated anger and their pent-up fires of hatred against those consumers who supported the ratification of the Joint Venture Agreement (JVA). They had circulated insinuations in the minds of the unsuspecting consumers, it added without providing details.

In every conceivable manner, these so called-labor advocates will seek to cause that which is right to be deceptive, such as the reality that CENECO, as an electric coop, no longer has the technical knowledge or the corporate competence to be able to supply the power market amid progress and development. These pretenders are trying to impede our goal for power supply reliability, the press release continued.

We, the consumers, shall assert our rights. We shall claim the fruits of our struggle. We shall mobilize a counter-strike. The CENECO Union of Rational Employees became irrational by using the notice of strike as a weapon to threaten the consumers and compel NEPC to agree to their unreasonable demands. Isn’t it a form of blackmail? In conclusion, the press release asked.*

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