Power Watch calls on officials to help avert Ceneco strike

Power Watch Negros secretary general Wennie Sancho called on Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, former governor Rafael Coscolluela and Frank Carbon of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday, February 1, to convene Task Force CENECO (Central Negros Electric Cooperative) to address a looming power crisis in the event of a strike.

It is strongly suggested that the group should meet and come up with a “Manifesto for Industrial Peace” by requesting the Ceneco management and labor union to submit their dispute to voluntary arbitration by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Sancho said.

Bello’s assuming jurisdiction of the dispute would have the effect of automatically enjoining the strike, he added.

The CENECO Union of Rational Employees (CURE) on Saturday voted 291-10 to strike for non payment of their Collective Bargaining Agreement, its president Stephanie Montaner said.

“We are hoping that the National Conciliation and Mediation Board could successfully conciliate the two parties towards a voluntary settlement/agreement,” Sancho said.

Sancho said at the receiving end, in the event of a strike that would paralyze the operations of CENECO, are more than 310,000 member-consumers owners who will be adversely affected.

Ceneco is taking measures to avert a strike by its employees’ union and preparing contingency plans to prevent a halt in it services, it officials said Monday, January 31.

CENECO’s management filed a request before the Department of Labor and Employment Monday for it to assume jurisdiction over the dispute and is confident that the strike will not be allowed because the cooperative provides a vital service to the public that cannot be hampered, Agnes Claro, manager of Ceneco’s institutional Services Department, said.

Ceneco officer-in-charge Jose Taniongon said if the strike pushes through they could hire a contractor to assume work to prevent a disruption of services.*

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