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May 05, 2017

LCMC signs CBA with local staff

Mayor Mauricio Domogan of Baguio City, DOLE Regional Director Exequiel  Guzman, and Gabriel Bayang of the NCMB with Lepanto and LLSU officials.

Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company executed the 11th  LCMC-LLSU CBA just days after the powerful Commission on Appointments rejected the appointment of Gina Lopez as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Lepanto was represented by its president, Bryan U. Yap, and the Lepanto Local Staff Union (LLSU), by president Steve Pomeg-as.

Yap commended the LLSU and management representatives for the swift completion of the CBA negotiations. He also expressed his appreciation for the support given by the LLSU members and other stakeholders to Lepanto during the period following the announcement of Lepanto’s  suspension early this year.  “I wish to thank you all for your support. I especially wish to thank our employees and community members who joined the rallies at the DENR and the Senate to show our hands and hearts in defense of Lepanto and our industry.”  Yap also  thanked, on behalf of the Chairman and the Board of Directors,  the Lepanto Women’s Association and other groups that initiated the gathering of almost 6,000 signatures for the ‘Manifesto of Support for the Continued Operation of Lepanto’.

Yap added:  “The completion of our CBA bolsters my hopes for the continued healthy relationship between labor and management and our mutual trust for each other.   I said the same message to the LLEU last March 25: You are the Company’s backbone and we commit to do our part so as not to lose your trust. We hope that we can always amicably discuss all concerns and issues so that we can concentrate on the more difficult task ahead --  improving our efficiencies and increasing productivity.”  

Improving efficiencies is doubly  important in light of the new Copper-Gold project which will hopefully give the Company a decent profit starting next year.  

Pomeg-as, for his part, challenged management to fulfill the provisions of the CBA, saying it has the full support of the LLSU and LLEU in achieving its targets. “We negotiate because we want to improve,” he said, adding that the 11th  CBA provisions have  been thoroughly presented to the members last April 29 and they were unanimously accepted.”

LCMC Vice President for Administration and Human Resource Officer Knestor Godino, who negotiated with the LLSU, said that the negotiations would  have been completed sooner  if not for the so-called  Gina Lopez effect. Many workers had been demoralized over the impending suspension of operations and a good number   attended the demonstrations in Manila to support the mining industry. “The real CBA is in the implementation itself, so were we negotiating for something that can be implemented? This will remain as cost if we don’t convert this to productivity,” he said.

LLSU has 180 members, consisting mostly of professional/technical staff. In March this year, the Lepanto Local Employees Union representing a thousand rank-and-file workers also signed their CBA with the company.