CA affirms arbitration ruling in favor of Amwire workers
The Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld a November 2014 arbitration ruling in favor of the employees of the American Wire & Cable Co., Inc.
In a recent 14-page decision, the CA 13th Division denied Amwire’s petition questioning the arbitrator’s ruling in favor of American Wire & Cable Monthly Rated Employees Union.
The arbitrator had awarded a P1,750 monthly salary increase for the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) period from May 1, 2013 to April 30, 2014, and a P2,000 monthly increase from May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2014. This was higher than the employer’s offer of only a P548 monthly raise.
The arbitrator also ordered Amwire to maintain the present CBA provisions for paid leaves and gratuity pay, nixing its attempt to reduce such perks.
The CA said the voluntary arbitrator did not err in taking into account the union’s P2,500 proposal and considering the fact that Amwire used to grant wage increases of P500 to P1,500 per month for the past 11 years.
The court also said it cannot seek to reduce the benefits already granted in the existing CBA, because it would contravene the duty to bargain collectively and violate the prohibition against diminution of benefits.
“To allow employers to adopt policies that negate duly bargained for an contracted benefits is a travesty of the sovereign people’s will embodied in the Constitution,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Maria Filomena Singh.