Labor chief warns Hanjin employees: Don't sign 'voluntary resignation' papers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 14 2019 01:03 PM | Updated as of Feb 14 2019 02:13 PM

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MANILA - Employees of debt-saddled Korean shipbuilder Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp in the Philippines were advised not to sign "voluntary resignation" papers as doing so would strip them of their rightful benefits, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Thursday.

Director Dominique Tutay of the Department of Labor and Employment's (DOLE) Bureau of Local Employment on Wednesday said the agency was verifying reports that some Hanjin workers were being forced to resign.

In an interview with DZMM radio, Bello said he personally advised Hanjin workers not to sign resignation papers during his last visit to the shipbuilder's facility within the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

"Sinabihan ko nga sila na 'wag silang pumayag na mag resign kasi kapag ikaw nagresign, hindi ka entitled sa separation pay. Kung totoo man 'yun, illegal 'yun. 'Wag silang pumayag. Palusot iyon," Bello said. 

(I told them not to agree to resign because once they resigned, they're not entitled to separation pay. If that was true, then that's illegal. They shouldn't agree to that. That's an excuse.)

Hanjin earlier filed for a court-assisted rehabilitation to pay off about $400 million debt to 5 major Philippine Banks. About 3,000 employees may lose their jobs once the shipyard ceases operations. 

Some Hanjin workers have found opportunities under the government's Build, Build, Build program during a jobs caravan held in Zambales earlier this month.