Labor groups and employees have expressed their appreciation to some companies for advancing their salaries and 13th month pay amid the coronavirus crisis.
Employees of fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC) praised the company after it disbursed at least P1 billion to cover one month of salary and 13th month pay to workers affected by the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine against COVID-19.
Citing an internal memorandum sent to all employees by JFC CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong, Kilusan sa Jollibee Foods Corporation-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (KILUSAN-JFC-TUCP) said the company’s management is paying the one month wages covering the March 15 to April 14 quarantine period together with the 13th month pay, which is usually disbursed on December this year “to help employees cope with the crisis during the one month period that they are restricted to travel to work.”
"We were very surprised to receive such memorandum from our boss. We were already at a very low morale due to the uncertainty of a one-month suspension of work when the news showed up at our email inbox. This will definitely free us from such anxiety and would enable us to tide things over. Thank you Jollibee, " said Arthur Juego, president of KJFC-TUCP.
For his part, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) president Raymond Mendoza said "the move will create a race to the top momentum and raise the reputation of the Jollibee brand to customers and compel other enterprises to do the same good company deed in the light of looming economic adversity for workers."
Meanwhile, the Associated Labor Unions (ALU) commended the country's largest mall operator SM Supermalls and its competitor Robinsons for waiving the rental fees of mall tenants from March 16 to April 14 to enable these micro- and small enterprises pay in advance the salaries and thirteenth month pay of their employees.
The labor group also lauded business tycoon Manny Pangilinan for releasing in advance the 13th month pay of PLDT, Smart and Meralco employees.
Other companies who advanced the salary and thirteenth month pay of their employees are the Aboitiz Group of Companies, Asian Terminal/ Solaire Resort Hotel, JG Summit and Gokongwei Group of Companies, the Lucio Tan Group pf Companies, and the SMC Group of Comapnies.
"These positive management decisions raises workers loyalty by improving the quality of production and better customer service. The gesture promotes unity and reinforces Filipino bayanihan during these distressful times for workers and families. We urge other companies, big or small, to do the same, to help the workers and their families during these times," Gerard Seno, executive vice president of ALU, said.
With their salaries and benefits assured, workers will comply with the mandatory home quarantine policy and minimize the spread of COVID19 in communities, Seno said. — Ted Cordero/BM, GMA News