National Conciliation and Mediation Board
Regional Branch No. 5
31 January 2018
“Will you sacrifice friendship and harmonious industrial relationship on measly monetary issue?” This is the initial question NCMB5 Regional Branch Director Reynaldo Foncardas posed to the two union presidents of an electric cooperative based in Camarines Sur who came to the office to seek clarification on the issue of paying of union dues or agency fees.
The presidents of the rank-and-file (RAF) and supervisory unions were at loggerheads over the issue on what union will collect the union dues or agency fees from rank-and-file employees who were designated to supervisory positions.
The RAF union president insists that the designations of the 10 RAF employees to a supervisory position are temporary until they are fully pledged to the position by virtue of an office order from the General Manager of the electric cooperative.
Meanwhile, the president of the supervisory union countered that since the employees are presently occupying a supervisory position and enjoying the benefits under the CBA of supervisory union, they should pay the agency fee to the supervisory union.
NCMB5 Supervising Labor and Employment Officer Josephine Amaranto explained, “It may be mentioned that the two presidents are close friends. They work together and have good working relationships. That is why together they were able to successfully pursue their respective union goals and plans for the employees and the electric cooperative.”
“Although they did not formally file a complaint, it is imperative on the part of NCMB to assist them in settling their issues. Director Foncardas rendered technical assistance to the two parties to arrive at a solution that will be agreeable to both parties,” continued SupLEO Amaranto.
“What’s so unique with the style of Director Foncardas in conducting his conciliation is he can settle differences even at the most unexpected places – the alley near the comfort room of the Branch. Who would have thought that the issues raised by the two union presidents will be resolved in that place?” asked SupLEO Amaranto.
Director Foncardas said, “There was no place then to conduct the conciliation since during that time there was an officers’ meeting of the two associations, Labor and Management Industrial Peace Advocates (LAMIPA) and Organization of Grievance Machinery Advocates (OGMA). All the office tables were occupied and I don’t want to disrupt the proceedings. That is why we went to an available space where we cannot disturb the meeting and likewise will not be disturbed, which is the alley near the comfort room. Luckily, I was able to conciliate their differences. They were already having a heated argument. One insisted that RAF employees designated to a supervisory position should pay the union dues to the RAF union. While the other supervisory union president maintained that since the employees are functioning and occupying a supervisory position they should likewise pay the agency fee to the supervisory union.”
“So I asked them if they are going to give up their good relationship just for the issue of union fees collection. Both intimated that they don’t want to be embroiled in a squabble where they will no longer be friends. They preferred their good relationship. So I suggested to them to study if it is possible to just divide to the two unions the dues that may be collected from the employees. And they readily accepted the suggestion and agreed to just divide between the two unions whatever union dues collectible from the employees,” Director Foncardas narrated.
With this, the two union presidents went home on a happy note that they can now proceed with the usual amiable relationship intact.
EFLEDA A. HOURANI
APPROVED FOR RELEASE:
REYNALDO S. FONCARDAS
Regional Branch Director